Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

McCloskey’s world title dream still alive

©Russell Pritchard / Presseye 16th April 2011WBA Light Welterweight World Title Fight :Amir Khan vs Paul McCloskey at The MEN Arena, Manchester©Russell Pritchard / Presseye

Paul McCloskey's next fight will be for a world title whether that is against Amir Khan or possibly IBF champion Zab Judah, according to the director of Matchroom boxing Eddie Hearn.

Eddie and his dad Barry have been working solidly since the Dungiven man's controversial defeat at the hands of Amir Khan on Saturday night at Manchester's MEN Arena when a minor cut was deemed to be enough to bring their WBA light-welterweight title clash to a halt in the sixth round.

Matchroom boss Barry still believes that a rematch between Khan and McCloskey cannot be dismissed because the WBA champion's backers must realise the financial rewards to be gained from such a clash.

“I've spoken to Amir's dad and I've told him that his son is not a popular boy but if wants the British public to back him then he should give Paul his chance and if he is so confident about knocking out Paul then put it on outdoors in Belfast in the summer,” said Hearn snr.

“Khan's talking about Bradley now but Freddie Roach is a good judge of a fighter and he must have been horrified with Khan's performance.

“So let's do it again, give the public what they want.

“One thing is certain, Paul McCloskey has a lot of options now but the fight we really want is Khan. They can say that McCloskey lost all six rounds but that is just a smokescreen — only God Almighty knows what would have happened next.”

One of those options could be a fight with IBF light-welterweight champion Judah, who is now looking to make a voluntary defence having just won the title last month.

Eddie Hearn said: “Paul's stature in world boxing has grown dramatically after Saturday night. I think the Judah fight is a possibility for Paul if Khan will not step up to the plate but we are hoping the WBA take some action.

“They do have a system when they make a fighter a super-champion and that leaves the title vacant and Paul could box for that if the WBA accept that because of the controversial ending to Saturday night's fight he deserves another chance.

“One thing is sure, our plan is that Paul McCloskey's next fight will be for a world title.”

Dad Barry revealed that he has launched his own probe into the history of Puerto Rican referee Luis Pabon as he prepares to lodge a detailed complaint with the World Boxing Association and the British Boxing Board of Control tomorrow.

“We are preparing our report for the WBA and the British Board and I want to know how this referee handled any fighter with a cut in the 40 or 50 world title fights that he has been involved with,” added Barry.

“At ringside on Saturday night there were many world class officials and not one of them said to me they would have stopped the fight because of a cut like that.

“In my 25 years of boxing, not even a six rounder would be stopped because of a cut like that.

“I also want to know why the doctor was in the ring and how many world title fights he has done in the past.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that Paul gets another chance at Khan.”

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