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McCloskey still in the running for Khan bout

By William Mackay: Undefeated EBU light welterweight champion Paul McCloskey (22-0, 12 KO’s) is still in the running for a shot against World Boxing Association (WBA) light welterweight champion Amir Khan on April 16th.

Although the 31-year-old McCloskey’s promoter dismissed a low offer made from Khan’s promoters for a fight, it looks as if McCloskey is still being strongly considered for the 4/16 fight, which will be taking place in the UK at the M.E.N. Arena, in Manchester.
Speaking to Sport, McCloskey said “At the minute, we’re still in talks – which is a positive thing, considering there have been stumbling blocks.”

McCloskey has a fight scheduled against Euro fighter Michele Di Rocco on March 5th in a title defense of his European Boxing Union title. It’s unclear whether McCloskey will still take that fight should he get the bout with Khan.

What likely makes McCloskey so appealing for Khan is that he’s got a grossly inflated #5 ranking by the World Boxing Association, an unbeaten record and he’s well known in the UK. Even better is that McCloskey has very little power, isn’t very tall and has no hand speed. In other words, he’s the perfect opponent for the weak-chinned Khan to fight. Khan wants no part of facing strong punching contenders like Breidis Prescott, Victor Ortiz and Lucas Matthysse. McCloskey is much more to Khan’s liking.

In terms of where McCloskey really should sit in the rankings of the light welterweight division is probably well below #20. I have McCloskey ranked around #30. He’s limited in speed, power and size and I can’t see him beating any of the top 20 in the division. However, Brits seem to be enamored with him and he’s not much of a threat to end the Khan hype machine. That will come later when he faces the Timothy Bradley vs. Devon Alexander winner this year.

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