You Dun us proud, town tells returning boxing hero Paul McCloskey
Dungiven's Paul McCloskey arrived back at his home yesterday evening to a tumultuous greeting from hundreds of fans who lined the streets.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, McCloskey showed little evidence of the fight with Amir Khan which was brought to a controversial halt by a ringside doctor, with only the neatly stitched line above his eye giving any indication of Saturday night’s bout.
Paul was accompanied in a limousine around Dungiven by his young sons Cian (7) and Oran, who is almost two.
The two young boys were unfazed by crowds surrounding their father.
He admitted he was still “bemused and bewildered” by the decision and added: “I have to say I was feeling really down about what happened.
“But when I look around me at these crowds of people it makes me proud to be here now, and to be from here.
“It really has given me a lift, this is absolutely fantastic but there is still unfinished business between me and Khan.
“Obviously I couldn't see the cut so I couldn't say whether it was right or wrong, but by the way they were going on about it you would have thought the whole of my head was off, so I couldn't believe it when I eventually saw it.
“I am still bemused and bewildered by it, and I will certainly be back training and looking for a rematch very soon.
“But right now my immediate plan is to go on holiday with my wife and family.”
Paul’s wife Emma has always been in the background, quietly supporting her husband, and yesterday evening was no exception, but she could not hide her delight at the prospect of getting some family time away from the glare of the media.
She said: “We are going to New York and Las Vegas on Friday and I can't wait. I haven't been able to spend very much time with Paul either just before the fight or since, but this trip will be a belated 30th birthday present for me, so hopefully we will be able to relax and have a good time before he has to start back again.
“I know he was feeling so disappointed about Saturday night, but we never for a second thought we would be coming back to all this.
“This is something else and I know it will be an evening that will stay with all of us forever.”