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Paul McCloskey finally gets his chance at Khan

By Mark Hepplestall: Irish light welterweight and current EBU champion Paul McCloskey (22-0, 12 KO’s) has finally got his chance for a world title shot after being overlooked for the last 18 months even though he occupied a place in the top 10 for that duration of time. There is a lot of scepticism around this fight for some reason even though it makes sense in many different ways.

Firstly, Paul McCloskey has recently been compared to Paulie Malignaggi. However, this statement is furthest from the truth. Firstly people look at the KO ratio of McCloskey and think it is nothing to be proud of, well that is not totally true as it works out as a 54% KO ratio with his last five fights ending inside the distance. Also a characteristic McCloskey possesses that Malignaggi definitely does not is the very underestimated one punch KO of Giuseppe Lauri, who is a very good veteran and extremely hard to beat. The biggest similarities to Malignaggi include hand speed and a defence based on reflexes. Also the obvious in which he is actually a good boxer, maybe it’s not a bad thing to be compared to a toughly matched former IBF champion who has shared the ring in real battles with Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Juan Diaz etc.

This bout also makes more sense than any other fight, firstly the England Vs Ireland spin will sell itself, I expect the fight to be sold out within days. These types of bouts make history and the passion is always there just look at the likes of Steve Collins Vs Chris Eubank and Steve Collins Vs Nigel Benn.

Also just look at the other options available, Junior Witter who is 37 and lost to Bradley and Alexander in disappointing fashion, most likely not deserving the title shot never mind the fact he only fights at welterweight now he finds it too hard to make the 140lbs limit. Lucas Matthysse also touted, lower in the world then McCloskey and done nothing against any top level fighters, not likely to leave the Americas either, basically this guy is touted because of his 85% KO ratio. Its also worth pointing out he has never won a match outside of Argentina. Lastly the rematches, Maidana possibly needs to win a match or two before a rematch, maybe for all of the unified titles and Prescott has done nothing since Khan so doesn’t deserve the payday.

Lastly the other issue is he American audience doesn’t like the fact the fight will be shown at an earlier time then they are used to because of the USA-UK time difference, well with the increase in European dominance over the past few years I think the American audience will get used to it or watch a reply.


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