Wednesday 21 March 2018

McCloskey and Prescott vie for shot at Khan


Bernard O'Neill

TONIGHT'S clash between Paul McCloskey and Breidis Prescott at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast is being billed as an eliminator en route to a shot at Amir Khan, the Super WBA light-welterweight champ.

But with Khan expressing reservations about trading leather with either man it remains to be seen whether he will face an opponent who beat him (Prescott) or a man he beat (McCloskey).

Prescott sensationally knocked out Khan in the first round in Manchester in 2008, while Derry southpaw McCloskey lost to the Bolton fighter -- also in Manchester -- last April. The ex-Irish Elite champ, one of the first members of the IABA's High Performance Unit, suffered a cut over his left eye that night and the fight was awarded to Khan in the sixth.

Meanwhile, Miami-based Colombia-born Prescott -- who has adopted the nickname 'The Khanqueror' in tribute to his 54-second demolition of Khan -- is saying sorry in advance for being a party pooper.

"I'd like to apologise to all the Irish fans that will be out rooting for their man this Saturday at the Odyssey Arena. I'm sorry I'm going to ruin your party," he said.

"I've come here to put on a great performance and hopefully Paul McCloskey comes to fight and doesn't run around the ring."

However, McCloskey reckons Prescott will run into trouble.

"The Breidis Prescott/Khan fight happened three years ago. Amir Khan got knocked out in 54 seconds. The Khan Prescott fought and the Khan I fought were two different fighters."

Belfast's Carl Frampton, who is signed with Barry McGuigan, will face Mark Quon for the vacant Commonwealth super-bantamweight title on the undercard, while Eamon O'Kane will also be in action.

Irish Independent

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