8 April 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Amir Khans stablemate Jamie Kavanagh has warned Paul McCloskey against banking on knocking the WBA light-welterweight champion out next Saturday night. Team Dudey have been keen to stress Khans temples are his boxing Achilles heel in the build up to the mega bout and believe the undefeated European champion has a big chance of stopping the Bolton native.
Wild Card native Kavanagh, however, has first hand knowledge of King Khan, and having tested the champions punch resistance during sparring revealed the reigning champ is far from chinny. Golden Boys Khans chin has long since been labelled suspect and the boxer billed as the best light-welterweight in the world has visited the canvas numerous times in his 25-fight career.
Ever since Breidis Prescott stopped Khan in just 54 seconds of their now notorious 2008 clash, all of the Freddie Roach-trained English mans opponents have been predicting they would emulate the Colombian and win within the distance. But Kavanagh, who stated Khan is in great shape ahead of his fourth defence, claims his Wild Card companion is a lot stronger at 140 pounds and has since disproved the temple of doom theory.
The former Crumlin amateur stand-out points to how the English man survived the best that knock out specialist Marcus Maidana had to offer in his last outing and stressed all talk of a lack of punch resistance is hype. Speaking to Mirror Sport the Irish Prospect of the Year warned fellow country man against underestimating the punch resistance of his stable mate.
Its all a hype. They only way to know if he can take a punch is to get in the ring with him. I have been in there with him and I dont think hes chinny. Since hes moved too 140 pounds he is a lot stronger. A lot of people underestimate him as a result of that Prescott fight, but I think Prescott won the lotto when he landed that punch. Khan may have been down a few times, but so have a lot of great fighters and have come back. I think Paul has to forget about Khans chin. Its like everything else you go looking for it and it never comes. Amirs chin comes up before every fight, but I thinks its hype and the easiest response to certain questions.
McCloskey is certainly deemed an outsider heading into the biggest bout on the planet so far this year, but Kavanagh, who along with Andrew Murray adds significant Irish flavour to the Manchester fight menu, believes the Derry native has a chance of unbuckling the prestigious strap from the waist of the champ.
Pauls an awkward southpaw so its hard to tell whats going happen in the fight. I am really looking forward to it. Paul deserves a shot if you ask me and its great he got it so close to home. He has a chance. He is not undefeated for nothing. Like I said he is awkward and its hard to tell if one fighter is going be too awkward for another. All that will be revealed on the night. An upset on the night is possible. I think Paul is smart and knows he is going in against the best 140lb in the world. He is not going be relying on awkwardness. He is going too have a plan.