Hearn: Paul McCloskey and Amir Khan a no-go
Paul McCloskey’s dream showdown with Amir Khan has bitten the dust and promoter Barry Hearn is laying the blame firmly at the feet of the champion.
April 16 is the date for Khan’s next defence of the WBA light-welterweight title at the MEN Arena and McCloskey was eager to take on the Bolton star but when the offer came through Hearn simply found it “derisory”.
He added: “The offer was a joke. There’s no way I’m letting Paul fight for peanuts.
“They made the offer, I rejected it and as far as I can see the fight is dead. We’ll certainly not be going back to them to negotiate.
“If they were to come back with a proper offer then of course we would listen but as I expected they wanted to get Paul on the cheap.
“I’m just not interested in that. Paul’s got a better record than Khan — he’s undefeated and he’s never been knocked out like Khan has.
“Nobody has done Paul any favours, he has done everything that has been asked of him and he deserves to be well paid for a fight like this.
“Frankly, I don’t know who Khan is going to get to fight for the money he was offering Paul. Certainly Victor Ortiz wouldn’t and I don’t think any quality fighter would allow themselves to box for the money Paul was offered.”
Hearn now expects to start working towards McCloskey’s next defence of the European light-welterweight title at the end of March in the King’s Hall.
“Paul’s career moves on and I would expect him to make another defence of his European title and keep moving up the rankings,” he said. “He’s already ranked four in the WBC and five in the WBA.”
l THE Ulster Elite boxing championships were officially announced yesterday with the preliminary bouts expected to start next Monday night at Donegal Celtic Social Club.
The finals return to their natural home, the Ulster Hall on February 3, while the weigh-ins are on Sunday at the following clubs: St. Agnes ABC Belfast, Ring ABC Derry and Clonoe ABC Coalisland.