Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

McCloskey clash with Khan on a knife edge

Paul McCloskey

Paul McCloskey has found himself in the middle of a battle to become Amir Khan’s next challenger on April 16 at the MEN Arena, Manchester.

It is understood that McCloskey’s promoter Barry Hearn has already turned down an offer from the Khan camp believing the purse was well below the European champion’s market value.

While Hearn is hoping to continue negotiating, Khan’s promoters are now looking at alternatives, such as Michael Katsidis, Victor Ortiz, Breidis Prescott and even a possible deal with original opponent Lamont Peterson, who has been out in the cold due to his purse demands.

Khan has said that he wants the fight with McCloskey but Hearn is adamant that he “won’t be getting Paul on the cheap”.

It is unlikely that Khan will risk his WBA belt against dangerman Ortiz in front of his home fans, while Prescott — who knocked out Khan in 2008 — yesterday cranked up the heat on the champion and dismissed the challenge of McCloskey.

Prescott said: “What does it tell you that he’d go around me, the man who beat him, to instead face a much lighter hitting and unknown fighter he thinks he can beat. Obviously Amir Khan and his team realize I would knock him out if we fought again.”

Ultimately, it will come down to whether or not Sky agree to the fighter Khan strikes a deal with and the biggest threat to McCloskey’s chances of getting the nod is arguably Aussie Katsidis.

The former WBO lightweight champion has been to Britain twice before and defeated Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell.

Overall, the next 48 hours could well decide McCloskey’s fate.

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