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Maidana: I’m willing to fight McCloskey next

Breidis Prescott Marcos Rene Maidana Paul McCloskeyBy Scott Gilfoid: WBA light welterweight champion Marcos Maidana congratulated Paul McCloskey (23-1, 12 KO’s) for beating Colombian Breidis Prescott (24-3, 19 KO’s) by a 12 round decision in their WBA light welterweight title eliminator last weekend in McCloskey’s home country of Ireland.

Maidana says he’s willing to fight McCloskey next, saying on his twitter “Congrats on your win. You know sometimes fighters ourselves don’t decide 100 percent in boxing [about who to fight], but I’m willing to face you with respect.”

The Maidana-McCloskey is a lot less appealing than a Maidana vs. Prescott fight, however, because McCloskey spends much of his time trying not to get hit and doesn’t usually attack until he gets desperate late in his fights like he did against Prescott.

I sat down watched the fight twice and I couldn’t give a round to McCloskey in the first seven rounds. He simply wasn’t throwing nearly enough punches to win any of the first seven rounds of the fight to be honest. McCloskey was throwing a lot of shots that missed completely or hit gloves, but the funny thing is the Irish crowd roared each time even though McCloskey was missing by a mile.

The Sky broadcasters even acknowledged how bleak things were looking for McCloskey. In the 8th, McCloskey came on and clearly won the round with some nice body shots. However, in the 9th round Prescott totally dominated the first half of the rounds with a ton of really hard head shots. Prescott’s momentum was slowed when he hit McCloskey on the belt-line with a shot, and McCloskey backed away as if it was a low shot. It wasn’t low. It was on the belt line – the white board of McCloskey’s belt.

McCloskey then milked the low blow for at least a minute to try and recoup because he was taking a horrendous beating in the round. In the meantime, Prescott was given a stern warning by the British referee for throwing a beltline [Read: legal] shot. It was pretty silly. After McCloskey had rested enough, the action was finally resumed and McCloskey landed a small handful of shots but still ate a lot of jabs in the final seconds. The funny thing is in the last seconds of the round, McCloskey tagged Prescott with a hard left hand low below the beltline right in front of the referee, yet he did nothing. No stoppage of the action, no warning, just nothing.

That kind of gave you an impression of what Prescott was up against in this fight. If that wasn’t bad enough, Prescott came out on fire in the 10th, blasting away at McCloskey and lighting him up for the entire round with head shots. One Sky analzyst correctly pointed out that McCloskey probably lost the round, while the other analyst said what a good job he did in the round and that he had won it. It was laughable.

No way could McCloskey have won the 10th, not in the real world. He was blasted around the ring the entire round, yet we got one Sky analyst saying he won it. I can only guess the way the judges scored. Prescott then dominated the 10th and 11th rounds, landing the better shots by far. All McCloskey could do was chase after him, missing over and over with his shots. He did land every now and then, but mostly he just missed badly, looking like an uncoordinated oaf. The Irish crowd didn’t care, cheering madly as if the guy was actually landing. Let me be clear on this: The only one landing consistently was Prescott. McCloskey was just missing.

In the 12th round, McCloskey came out fast, energized by the ravenous Irish crowd, and missing like usual over and over. He did finally connect with some shots when he got in close and landed to the body. However, Prescott came back late in the round and staggered McCloskey with three big right hands and a left hook to the head. As the round ended, McCloskey was staggering around like a sailor coming out of a bar, bloody, disoriented.

McCloskey continued to staggered even after the fight was over. I don’t know about you, but in the U.S that’s a round that would have gone to Prescott. It’s kind of a no brainer, really. When a fighter gets staggered as badly as McCloskey did, they lose the round, period. But I guess not in Ireland, because the Sky analysts were saying McCloskey won the round. It’s totally hilarious yet sad at the same time. One of the brilliant Sky analysts upon noticing that Prescott and his team had immediately left the ring as soon as the decision was announced, ‘oh look, agree with the decision. They’re not even protesting the decision.’ Totally comical. How could someone be so clueless not to realize that when someone leaves the ring immediately after losing a bad deciion it’s a sign of disgust, not agreement.

Overall, I gave McCloskey one round and that’s it. I really feel sorry for Prescott to have to come all the way to Ireland, beat the stuffing out of McCloskey, and then got jobbed the way he did. It was pathetic. McCloskey doesn’t deserve to fight Maidana, and I really feel sorry for Maidana if he ends up traveling to Ireland to fight McCloskey, because McCloskey’s promoter Eddie Hearn wants that to happen. All I can say is I sure hope Maidana knocks him out, because that’s the only way I can see him winning.


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