Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Morrison ready for McCloskey

Boxing

Barry Morrison insists he will make Paul McCloskey pay dearly if the Irishman believes he only has to turn up at Letterkenny on October 2 to retain his European light-welterweight title.

Morrison, 30, has been given his chance against the Dungiven boxer, who is unbeaten in 21 professional fights and who is looking to defend his crown for a second time with a view to a world title shot.

At a press conference in Glasgow themed as the 'Last Throw of the Dice', the Motherwell fighter claimed he has been discounted by the Irish media and warned McCloskey that it would be a dangerous mistake for him to make. "I feel the pressure is on him," Morrison said. "He sees me as a stepping stone to a world title fight and he is in front of his own fans."

Morrison added: "When I was at the press conference over in Ireland, he kept being questioned about when he was going to get his world title fight. I was just sitting there, they overlooked me. It's not a good thing for him to overlook me but I hope he will."

Morrison, currently studying at college for an HND in Health, Fitness and Exercise, will travel to Ireland full of inspiration following the performance of fellow Scot Ricky Burns, who won the WBO super-featherweight title by beating Roman Martinez at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall on September 4.

Morrison, who has won 18 of his 22 fights, said: "I sparred with Ricky Burns at the start of my camp and at the end of his camp and I know that I am not far behind.

"He is an inspiration and it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. I've always worked hard but I've had a lot of bad luck in the last few years with illnesses and I just want to crack on. I don't feel I have fulfilled my potential. I see it as a last chance and I suppose if you see it as the last chance you put the extra work in."

Morrison's manager Tommy Gilmour said: "It is probably the last throw of the dice for Barry as far as this level is concerned. It is up to him to produce the goods.

"McCloskey can sometimes be a lazy fighter and if that's the Paul McCloskey that turns up, and we get the Barry Morrison who destroyed Billy Smith in his last fight, we will certainly come home with the title.

"But the dice has to fall for us on the night."

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