McCloskey-Tontchev Clash on Duddy Eastman Undercard
18.11.07 - Paul McCloskey looks set for the biggest test of his professional career when he meets Olympic Silver medallist and former European Champion Tontcho Tontchev at the Kings Hall, Belfast on Saturday, December 8th..
Article posted on 19.11.2007
The fight is the latest title match up to be confirmed for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night which is being billed “The Only Show in Town”. The two men will contest an International Light Welterweight belt in one of four title bouts on the undercard to the mouth watering headline clash between John Duddy and Howard Eastman.
McCloskey is a friend and fellow county man of Duddy's but Tontchev is promising to spoil the party for the classy Dungiven southpaw.
A national hero in Bulgaria having been one of their greatest ever amateurs Tontchev only just lost out on a points decision to Oscar De La Hoya at the 1992 Olympics. Four years later he won a Silver medal at the Atlanta 1996 games. He also won a European Gold medal as an amateur and went on to repeat that feat by winning the European title in the professional ranks.
At the age of 34 some may feel that Tontchev is past his best but the hard punching Bulgarian says McCloskeys' team have made a major error in accepting the fight.
“McCloskey might be a good up and coming fighter but his team have made a serious mistake agreeing to fight me. It is far too early for McCloskey to be fighting someone with my experience, power and ability and I’m sorry for all his fans but I will be leaving Belfast with the belt.
“It won't be the first time a promoter has made this mistake. Last year Frank Maloney made a costly mistake when he brought me to London to fight Dean Phillips. He was expecting big things from him but I knocked him out cold in the first round.”
Tontchev can certainly pack a punch with 21 of his 37 wins coming inside the distance but he can alo be vulnerable himself as European Champion Yuri Romanov proved when he successfully defended his title against him earlier this year.
Tontchev though is adamant that he will be victorious in Belfast. “I fought in Belfast back in 2000 when I won the WBC International title so I think that is a good omen for me.
“I really enjoyed performing in front of the Belfast fans then and I’m looking forward to coming back there next month but the fans might not like the result at the end of the night.”
McCloskey though is relishing the prospect of a serious test of his credentials. Undefeated in 13 fights the classy southpaw is keen to win his first title.
“Thanks to Brian Peters I've been very busy this year. This will be my sixth fight of the year and my first title fight so I can't wait. I'm already in great shape and with Stephen Haughian also in a big fight on the card we're both very sharp and giving each other great sparring.
“You have to give Tontchev great respect. He's really scaled the heights both as an amateur and a professional and he has some great scalps on his record so he has to be respected but obviously I'm very confident that I can win my first title.
“I know he can be dangerous, he's a bit of a puncher but you're going to come up against dangerous guys as you make your way up through the rankings. Obviously I intend on being pretty elusive but in this business if you do hit the deck you have 2 options, stay on the floor or get up and beat the count and if I find myself in that situation I'll be taking the second option.
“I think I’ve proved so far in my career that the better my opponent the better I’ll fight. I’m 28 now and just hitting my peak so hopefully people will get to see the best of me next month. I'm really looking forward to it now, it will be my first 12 rounder and winning a title would be a great way to end the year.”
Tickets for “The Only Show in Town” priced from £40 are on sale now from Ticketmaster.ie and all usual outlets next week.
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