Boxing


Bazan predicts McCloskey’s downfall

Former World Champion Cesar Bazan arrived in Letterkenny this week promising to wreck Paul McCloskey’s unbeaten record. The two men meet in the top of the bill on this Saturday’s Hunky Dorys Fight Night at the Letterkenny Leisure Complex and Bazan is brimming with confidence ahead of the clash..

The Mexican arrived in Letterkenny on Sunday to acclimatise after a gruelling 6 week training camp in the mountains near his native Mexico City.

“Everything has been great since I arrived in Ireland, the people have been very nice and it is a beautiful country. I have trained long and hard for this fight and I am in great shape. I had 4 fights in France earlier in my career so fighting and winning in Europe is nothing new to me.”

Bazan admits to knowing little about McCloskey or caring for his ever-growing reputation as one of the light welterweight division’s hottest prospects. “I never heard of Paul McCloskey until I was asked to fight him and I don’t think I’ll be hearing any more about him after this weekend either. I am only concerned with myself and my preparations.”

Now 33 Bazan captured the WBC Lightweight title in 1998 by beating Stevie Johnson. He made 2 successful defences before losing to Johnson in a rematch on a split decision but Bazan believes he’s still capable of recapturing his world title winning form.

His current record stands at 46 wins and 9 defeats but he disputes all but 2 of those losses. “Except for my losses to Miguel Cotto and Jose Luis Castillo all my losses have been controversial. Just look at my record and see how many split decisions have gone against me and in the other guys hometown. What does that tell you?

“I just hope I get a fair deal in Ireland but I don’t think there will be any doubt about the winner of this fight. I know I have the power to knock out McCloskey. I wish Paul McCloskey well in his career but he is not in my league. I have fought the best and beaten the best, McCloskey hasn’t beaten anyone so far.”

McCloskey insists that he’s undaunted by Bazan’s reputation. “His record is certainly impressive,” admitted the Dungiven southpaw. “He’s a puncher and has twice as many KO’s as I’ve had fights so you have to respect that. He’s also very durable and has only been stopped by big names like Miguel Cotto and Jose Luis Castillo. But having said all that I’ve been ready for fights like this for some time now so I’m looking to go in there and do an impressive job on this guy.”

The undercard will feature former World title challenger and British Champion Neil Sinclair. The power punching Belfast man is desperate to get back in to title contention but first he will need to get past durable Spaniard Juan Martinez Bas in Letterkenny.

Also on the undercard are a pair of reigning Irish Champions, Light Welterweight title holder, Andrew Murray and Light Middleweight kingpin Ciaran Healy. Murray has stepped in for the injured Stephen Haughian in what will be a quick return to action following a stoppage win on the Macklin – Campas undercard in Dublin last weekend.

Healy will be out for revenge in his 8 round contest with Pavel Lotah. The Latvian outpointed him over 6 rounds in Limerick last month so Healy will be looking to even the score in Letterkenny.

Also on the bill is undefeated Omagh prospect Damian Taggart and new pro Luke Wilton who will be making his first start in the paid ranks.

Cuban heavyweight Mike Perez has also been forced off the card with an injury suffered in last weekend's win at the National Stadium.

Tickets for the Hunky Dorys Fight Night priced from €60 are on sale from Ticketmaster.ie and all usual outlets

Article posted on 26.03.2008



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