by Patrick Appleton
Curtis Woodhouse has been denied his dream fight this week, with Matchroom Promotions blocking the opportunity to take on Paul McCloskey at The Odyssey on May 5th.
News of Woodhouse being a possible opponent for McCloskey broke on Monday in various outlets on Facebook and Twitter, and some of the opinions were quite eye opening about the former Birmingham City footballer.
People definitely respect Woodhouse and what he is trying to do; he’s following his first sporting love even though he had the chance to continue in a much more profitable and comfortable sport. He left the top end of the football scene and worked hard at his pugilism and it seems beginning to pay off although perhaps a bit late for his world title ambitions.
The proposed fight with McCloskey was the icing on the cake for the Beverley fighter, but it represents a monumental drop in class for McCloskey, who this time last year was in full swing, training for a huge WBA title clash with Amir Khan at the MEN Arena.
How times have changed for Paul McCloskey, on the outside it looks very disappointing following last year’s heady heights of world title aspirations that this Spring he is trying to line up fights with what are essentially journeymen.
There was talk of Maidana, that fell through. There was talk of Katsidis, that fell through. There was talk of Marquez, that fell through. So just what has happened with Paul McCloskey? He has not had a fight in six months and the fighters currently being looked at are no test for the Derryman.
The fans need answers as McCloskey is in the prime of his career, this guy should be getting the shots he deserves either here or in the US but it isn’t happening. Is it the promoter’s fault? Is it the fighter’s fault? What is going on that someone who fought for a world title one year ago has fought once since and is now being lined up against fighters who haven’t even got domestic honours?
It could be argued that Amir Khan has a lot to answer for McCloskey sliding off the radar, as for all the hypocritical nonsense coming out of Khan’s mouth following the Peterson defeat he was clearly not as forgiving to McCloskey’s cries for a rematch following April’s ill-fated ‘accidental headbutt’ that ruled the fight null and void. The Irishman was left with plenty to ponder as he sat in one corner of the MEN Arena, stony-faced in disbelief that his opportunity had been snatched from him, not by skill or power but from a doctor’s decision and some suspect officiating.
Paul McCloskey has never fully recovered from that humiliation last April, a humiliation that involved very little boxing. Sure he went and got the result against Breidis Prescott, but what has materialised from that? Nothing. McCloskey’s best chance right now may be to fill his date in May with a respectable opponent, get that out of the way and set about chasing Amir Khan for a date with destiny.
Chasing Khan would be ideal for the tonic for McCloskey’s recent disappearance and if he can find an opponent for May just to keep him ticking over then Irish boxing fans could be in for a firecracker right in the middle of the summer. There’s only one stumbling block to getting Paul McCloskey back on track – Amir Khan and his willingness to fight.