Boxing


Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson Unlikely, Khan Looks At Defending Against Ireland’s Unbeaten Paul McCloskey In April

By James Slater - It seems WBA light-welterweight champion Amir Khan will not now be making his next defence against Lamont Peterson as was widely expected. According to Khan, in talking with BBC radio, Peterson wanted “too much money” for the April 16th fight which will take place in the UK (The M.E.N Arena, Manchester - Sky Box Office to televise).

Enter unbeaten Irish southpaw Paul McCloskey.

According to a number of sources, Khan is close to signing to defend against the 31-year-old European champion with the 22-0(12) record..

“He’s an undefeated fighter, I’m happy to take the fight on,” Khan said of McCloskey. “The next level for him is world title and I’d take the fight on. He’s a good fighter.”

Naturally thrilled at being as close as he’s even been to a world title shot, the 31-year-old is also hugely confident he will get the upset win.

“I have wanted this fight for a while now and I believe I can beat him,” McCloskey said to the Belfast Telegraph. “I also believe on my day I can beat anybody in the world.”

But what kind of a chance does the former amateur standout and currently unbeaten pro have of beating the super-fast Khan? Turning pro in 2005, McCloskey, not a big puncher, has always fought at or around 140-pounds. A strong and determined fighter, he won the British title by stopping Colin Lynes in late 2008, then McCloskey won the European belt with another stoppage; this one over Daniel Rasilla. Since then, the southpaw known as “Dudey” has made two retentions, both coming via stoppage win.

Actually, in looking at McCloskey’s stats, he has seemed to have improved his punching power over the last couple of years. His last five have been won by stoppage, and maybe the man from Northern Ireland will be capable of testing Khan’s chin.

Still, McCloskey will enter the ring as a considerable underdog if the fight happens. Khan, after all, is coming off that great win over the lethal-hitting Marcos Maidana, a fighter many felt would smash Khan. But we all saw how much stronger the Olympic silver medallist’s chin is up at 140-pounds, and against the less experienced McCloskey Khan will not have to fear the bombs the Argentine can deliver.

McCloskey has a good following and his fan base will see to it that he is well supported at the live venue on April 16th. Indeed, the atmosphere should be great. Khan, currently a superstar in his homeland, could probably sell out an arena against any opponent of his choosing. And even if McCloskey is perhaps not at the top of the list when it comes to who fans wanted to see Khan fight next (Breidis Prescott and John Murray, to name just two other possible challengers, would perhaps have gone down better), he is, as Khan says, a good, undefeated fighter.

Article posted on 14.01.2011



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