15 October 2009 – By Mark Doyle
Paul McCloskeys trainer, John Breen, believes that Amir Khan would be the obvious target for the Dungiven native if he is successful in his bid for the European light-welterweight title next month.
McCloskey, who remains undefeated after 19 professional bouts, gave up the British title he claimed with a stunning stoppage win over Colin Lynes last December to secure a crack at Europes number one, Souleymane M’baye, whom he will meet at the Meadowbank Sports Arena, Magherafelt on November 6.
Breen is in no doubt that his charge will prevail and is also adamant that he would emerge triumphant in his proposed bout with WBA champion Khan.
“Khan is the obvious world title fight out there for Paul,” said Breen. “They both turned pro at around the same time and Ive always believed that Paul has the beating of Khan and when he wins the European title I think hell finally get an opportunity to prove that.
“Ive always said that Paul is world class so Ive no worries about him fighting for the European title.
“Mbayes an excellent fighter and hes been a World Champion himself and now he has the European title but I know what Pauls capable of and Mbaye wont get near him.
“Every time Paul has stepped up a level in his career hes handled it with ease and Ive no doubt hell do the same this time around.”
McCloskey, though, is refusing to underestimate the threat posed by the 34-year-old Mbaye.
“Hes very slick, durable and he can punch a bit himself,” the slick southpaw admitted. “Theres no doubt about it hes a world class operator, you dont win World titles without being world class.
“Hes only been beaten 3 times in 42 fights so you have to respect a record like that.
“But its a huge opportunity for me and winning the European title would set me up nicely for a shot at a world title.
“Im just focusing on Mbaye and becoming European Champion first. Once I win that then everything else will fall into place.”