By Jonny Stapleton
SECURING Paul McCloskey a viable opponent for his next outing is giving promoter Eddie Hearn sleepless nights.
Hearn is trying to attract the kind of credible adversary that will put ‘Dudey’ back in world title contention to no avail and called for fans to show some understanding.
The Matchroom boxing boss revealed Curtis Woodhouse will NOT trade leather with the former European champion-partly because of a fan backlash to the news published in Mirror Sport earlier this week.
The young promoter said he considered the former footballer because he comes to fight and because the high profile stateside names were looking for ridiculous paid days.
Hearn stressed he was as frustrated as the ‘Dudey Army’ that he couldn’t secure a world title tilt for the popular Derry fighter, but claims fans should understand it wasn’t due to a lack of effort.
The heir to the Matchroom throne had offers such as a $300,000 purse offered to Marcos Maidana rebuffed and claims tempting big names to Belfast is proving difficult.
“Paul should be out again on May 5. We will confirm Prizefighter in Belfast as undercard to Paul McCloskey very soon. We hope to have an opponent for Paul by Thursday. I can reveal it won’t be Curtis Woodhouse. Woodhouse was on our list and the reason he was, was because we are in a situation where we cannot tempt the big American names over and I would prefer an English guy that comes to fight if that is the case,” Hearn explained
“I understand the fans frustration. I am frustrated we didn’t get Paul a world title shot in Belfast. It has given me sleepless nights. We offered Maidana $300,000 and he wanted double.”
Hearn is determined to secure a name that will help keep former World title challenger and Amir Khan Foe, McCloskey in title contention and has added a few more fighters to a list that once included Zab Judah, Timothy Bradley, Maidanna and others.
“We know it is important to get credible names. We want a fighter that has mixed it at the top level. We couldn’t get Paul the world title shot this time around, but we want a name that will keep the drum beating. DeMarcus Corley is the latest to get in touch. Ok he is getting on but he has mixed at top level and Paul needs to fight.”
Hearn also believes Irish fight fans will get value for money come May 5 regardless of the fighter that stands in the opposition corner.
“It is going to be one big event. Prizefighter and McCloskey together. I think it will be a special night for the Irish fans. Ticket prices will remain the same and we are looking at the Kings Hall and the Odyssey.”