McCloskey beats Prescott, Maidana next; Prospects Perez, Gonzalez in action on October 1; Lopez preparing for Vargas on Saturday
Paul McCloskey says he wants to challenge Marcos Maidana for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Light Welterweight title in Belfast after defeating Breidis Prescott in a thrilling eliminator contest on Saturday night.
The Dungiven fighter bounced back from a first round knockdown and a bloodied nose in the second round to secure a gritty win in front of a packed Belfast crowd.
McCloskey admitted to a slow start in the fight but he finished strongly as the Colombian began to tire, and will now seek a second shot at the World title, this time with a home town show against the Argentinean Maidana.
“I would love to fight Maidana, we have already spoken on Twitter – he’s a true gent and a great fighter,” said McCloskey. “I think it’s a fight that could happen and it would be fantastic to have it in Belfast again. The support on Saturday was unbelievable, it really pushed me over the line in the last round.”
Prescott wobbled McCloskey with a couple of big rights in the sixth round – the round that the Colombian predicted he would win the fight. But McCloskey stood firm and grew into the fight in the second half of the action, something he attributed to his excellent conditioning training.
McCloskey began to find joy with his work to Prescott’s body in the latter rounds and winded Prescott who began to tire, McCloskey sensed his chance and was the constant aggressor as the fight drew to a close.
The final round was greeted by thunderous roar from the crowd and both McCloskey responded with a flurry of punches in a crucial assault in the last three minutes that would ultimately clinch victory for McCloskey.
“I am so happy the way I won the fight because I started off terrible tonight,” said McCloskey. “I lost the first few rounds. He was out-jabbing me and I had to find a way round it. I had to work round it.
“Prescott hits hard but after five rounds, that power seemed to dip for some reason. I don't know why but we talked about this before the fight. "I felt it dip. When he hit me in the first few rounds I could really feel it, but after that it wasn't so tough.
“I'm a skilful fighter but as I've showed in a few of my other fights, I've got a big heart. And in this game you're going to have nights when you need to dig deep and I dug deep tonight.
“Maybe I wasn't sharp tonight. Prescott has long reach and he's deceiving in the way he throws his punches, he was catching me with jabs and I thought this shouldn't be happening. But I pulled out the right result in the end.”
McCloskey’s promoter Eddie Hearn said that work on a World title fight would begin right away, and that a return to the Odyssey Arena was a strong possibility.
“I would love it to be in Belfast but we will go anywhere to turn Paul into a World Champion,” said Hearn. “He deserves a World title shot after beating a man that everyone else avoids. He will say himself that it wasn't his best performance skill-wise, but the determination and courage Paul showed against Breidis is worthy of a World title shot alone.
“The Odyssey Arena was rocking and everyone left with a smile on their face. That’s what Paul brings to the table – a great fan base and guaranteed entertainment. That’s the perfect mix for a World title fight.”
PROSPECTS CAMILO PÉREZ, JONATHAN GONZÁLEZ AND LUIS JOEL GONZÁLEZ IN ACTION AT TRIPLE CROWN III NEXT OCTOBER 1
Hot unbeaten prospects Camilo Perez, Jonathan "Bomba" Gonzalez and Luis Joel Gonzalez will take part of the show "Triple Crown III" to be held next October 1st at the coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, that will be headline by Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez, Roman "Rocky" Martinez and Jonathan "Polvo" Oquendo in title bouts, in a PR Best Boxing Promotions (PRBBP) and Top Rank presentation to be televised on Pay Per View.
Former two time WBO champion, López (30-1, 27 KOs) will face Mike Oliver (25-2, 8 KOs) for the featherweight WBO Latino title, along with former 130lb champion Martínez (24-1-1, 15 KOs), against Ramón Maas (25-1, 15 KOs) for the junior lightweight WBO Intercontinental title, and superbantamweight contender Oquendo (21-2, 14 KOs) versus Sod Looknongyantoy (51-2-1, 21 KOs) for the 122lb WBO Latino title.
Also in the card, and against foes to be named, Pérez (5-0, 4 KOs)s) in a six round 122 pounds fight; Bomba González (4-0, 4 KOs) at six rounds in 112 pounds; Luis Joel González (8-0-1, 5 KOs) at six rounds and 135 pounds; Kenneth Díaz (2-0, 2 KOs) at four rounds and 140 pounds; Jeffrey Fontánez (2-0, 2 KOs) at four rounds and 130 pounds; Rafael González (2-0, 2 KOs) at four rounds and 140 pounds, and Anthony Sánchez (2-1, 2 KOs) against Carlos López (3-1, 1 KO) at 140 pounds.
Tickets availables at Ticketcenter, www.tcpr.com or 787 792-5000. Prices are $25, $50, $75, $100, $150, $300 Red Carpet.
Inside The Gym: with Josesito Lopez as he prepares to stop Vargas Sept. 17
The NABF light welterweight champion of the world, Josesito Lopez (29-3, 17 KOs) is hard at work, preparing for his bout in Las Vegas against the hard-hitting Jessie Vargas (16-0, 9KOs), which is part of the undercard of the September 17th fight card featuring Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz.
In the video Josesito and his manager, Henry Ramirez, invite you into the 2 Feathers Gym in Riverside, CA for an insiders view of what they've been up to.