27 January 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
John Breen has warned Irish fight fans against booking tickets for Manchester this spring despite reports that Paul McCloskey and Amir Khan have agreed to fight in principle.
Positive reports from both camps suggested the three week boxing saga had come to a happy ending and that McCloskey was going to get a fairy tale shot at the WBA light welterweight champion.
But in keeping with the on-off theme of the last 20 days- and despite Khan’s management suggesting a done deal- the Derry natives trainer has gone from confident the very pessimistic regarding the chances of a the fight being made.
The experienced Belfast trainer stressed that early yesterday morning he believed the bout would go ahead, but now sees no end to the pay dispute and cant envisage the pair trading leather.
The outgoing Irish Trainer of the Year told Mirror Sport that, unless team Khan make an improved offer today the Derry stylist will opt for a less fashionable continental title defence ahead of a challenge for King Khans world crown.
Breen, who is confident McCloskey would beat the Bolton native, claims the Golden Boy star thinks his name and reputation are payment enough for the European Champion and revealed that some of clauses tied into the deal were literally laughable.
Nothing is confirmed yet. They have agreed to fight in principle and both camps and fighters want the fight, but I would advise anyone against buying tickets or making plans to go to Manchester that weekend, Breen told Mirror Sport.
If you would have asked me earlier I would have said I was confident the fight would be going ahead, but I am not so confident now. Unless they come back with a better offer on Friday I cant see it happening. Paul has agreed in principle but there are still a few problems. They want Paul to fight for nothing and they want options on Paul that are just not agreeable. Honestly when Paul told me the options they were asking for I burst out laughing. They dont want to give Paul anything, they think he should just be happy because he has got the chance to fight Khan.
McCloskey, himself has refuted reports the Manchester MEN Arena April 16 bout is a done deal but remains hopeful the teams can finally agree terms.
Despite reports in recent days the fight is not fully agreed yet. There are still issues but we hope that they can be agreed by Friday. There is going to be a lot of press coming out which is not from our team. We would advise people to wait and not book anything until we confirm the fight, the Dungiven star said via Twitter.
Khans father is a lot more optimistic and revealed details of the most recent offer, a proposal he believes good enough to be able to all but confirm the bout.
We have offered him almost three times what he got paid for his last fight and the ball is in their court – it can happen if they agree to the terms.