Promoter Barry Hearn called on WBA light-welterweight champion Amir Khan to show some “honour and integrity” by handing Paul McCloskey a re-match but it seemed to fall on deaf ears.
Khan is unlikely to change the opinion he voiced at a heated press conference in the MEN Arena after his controversial sixth round victory when the referee halted the fight due to a cut above the challenger’s nose.
“I’ve got bigger goals. I was winning every round. I would promise you all if it went another two rounds he would have been knocked out,” said Khan, who is now set to face American Timothy Bradley on July 23 in the States.
“There’s no point giving him a re-match okay I’ll give him a re-match if he goes and beats Maidana and every other fight I’ve beaten.”
Hearn, as with the rest of the McCloskey team, was left fuming at the referee and doctor who brought about the stoppage.
Hearn said: “It was a disgraceful decision. He never even should have called the doctor in for that cut, it wasn’t that serious.
“Boxing is about dreams and that referee ruined Paul McCloskey’s dream.
“Whether it is the referee or the doctor, neither of them should ever be allowed near a boxing ring again. I’ve watched 5,000 fights and I have never seen a fight stopped like that before.
“I think Amir Khan will leave the country and we’ll probably never see him again.
“He has no home here with any broadcaster.
“But if he is a man of integrity and honour he should fight Paul McCloskey again.
“This fight sold a lot of tickets and a re-match would be four times the size of this fight.
“I want it to be on Sky Box Office, let’s do it properly. Amir Khan needs it because there was very little support for Amir Khan in the arena.
“Around 6,000 people came over from Ireland and they have been robbed of a decision by the referee.
“He jumped the gun and destroyed the whole fabric of what world title fights are all about.
“Boxing is a brutal sport that really in any normal society shouldn’t be allowed to exist at all but we put up with it because it gives people a chance to fulfil their dreams. We were robbed of seeing if Paul McCloskey could become world champion so come on Amir, don’t run off to you palatial home in LA, make the fight.
“McCloskey would fight him in his back yard, Vegas or Boston, we’ll go anywhere.”
Curiously, when pushed, Khan’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya said “Does McCloskey deserve a re-match? Yes he does” before going on to stipulate that the first port of call would be the fight with Bradley. De La Hoya added: “Paul gave a very good performance and I feel that he has a very bright future ahead of him.
“Amir Khan, when you think of the fights he is going to have, I have to say that Sky made a big mistake not showing this fight,” he said.
“We’re going to talk soon with Primetime because they want to become a player in world boxing,” added De La Hoya.