12 April 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Matchrooms Eddie Hearn revealed team Khan are terrified of Paul McCloskeys massive support and urged Irish fight fans to rally their man to world title victory this Saturday night. The co-promoter of the WBA light welterweight world title fight stressed the Bolton mans team did everything possible to minimize the number of Irish in MEN Arena out of fear their man would be intimidated on his big home coming.
Hearn suggested Khan hasnt got a solid support in England and believes the Golden Boys representatives are wary their man will get booed on his home turf by McCloskey supporters. The Promoter also called on the four thousand plus Irish in attendance to get behind their man and help Dudey to the biggest win of his career.
McCloskeys promoter believes their will be more neutral than King Khan supporters at the bout ,that will now be aired on Primetime and not Sky Sports, meaning the champions home coming will be more like a home tie for the travelling Derry stylist.
Team Khan did everything the could to make sure their was as little Irish support in Manchester as possible. Amir Khan hasnt got fanatical support, he will sell tickets and have admirers there but he wont have the support like Paul will. There are 4,000 plus coming to watch Paul from all over Ireland. That is amazing. You wouldnt even get that in some football away legs. We could have sold more but team Khan did everything they could to prevent that, Hearn told Mirror Sport. They want to ensure their man comes across as the star. They dont want him booed as he comes in the ring. They are worried about the mental affect a big Irish support would have on their man. They know a large Irish contingent would affect his mindset during the fight and they are afraid of that. There is no doubt the Irish fans have a huge part to play. Their man is in a tough battle against hardest fighter to fight at the weight so they have got to get behind him and give him all the support they can.
Despite claiming the Golden Boy fighter isnt overly favoured by they British boxing public Hearn admits he is favourite ahead of Saturdays WBA light welterweight clash. However, he isnt sure if McCloskey sees it that way.
Paul faces a massive challenge. He is in against the hardest possible fighter at this weight. Amir Khan is world class, but Paul is the kind of person that doesnt worry about what other people say or think and he believes he can win. He knows he has the skills and tool set to frustrate Khan. He will be aware he has been made underdog by the bookies and the newspapers, but in his eyes he is favourite. And again he will have the better support to help him on the night Hearn added before suggesting unlike Camp Khan, who have started talks re their next defence, they are not looking beyond Saturday.
We are not looking past this fight. We have one goal at the moment and that is to beat Amir and strap the world title around Paul McCloskeys waist. Nothing after that matters at present lets just get the job done.