22 September 2010 – Jonny Stapleton
Paul McCloskey has promoted Barry Morrison from surprise European contender to World champion ahead of their light welterweight European title fight in Letterkenny on October 2.
The talented Derry puncher is taking nothing for granted ahead his continental clash with the former British champion and has put Morrison up on a pedestal he plans to knock him off next Saturday.
Most are of the opinion that Morrison, who is ranked 20 in Europe, shouldnt prove too problematic for the talented McCloskey in a bout that serves more to keep him busy than a stepping stone to a world title shot.
However, McCloskey, who is ranked number four in the world by the WBA and is fast closing in on a world tilt, makes a point of never underestimating his opponent and treats every bout like a world title contest.
I never underestimate an opponent, McCloskey told the Mirror after an open training session in the talent packed Breen Gym on Wednesday. Once you do that, that is when you fall and get beaten. Barry Morrison is a tough opponent. I dont pay attention to people suggesting I am favourite. I have a job to do and I am just focused on doing my job and winning next week. I am training for this fight like it is a World title fight and as if I am in against a World champion. I am in good shape. I feel healthy and I am ready to fight. I just cant wait to get in the ring now, he added before claiming all his focus his second EBU title defence and Scot Morrison rather a potential World title fight.
I cant afford to be thinking about World titles this close to a fight. The European title is my priority at the moment and I have to respect Morrison. But again I am feeling great and going into the ring with no worries.
The last time Irelands most stylish boxer entered the paid circle he was forced to produce a performance that was more thug than thespian. Italian Giuseppe Lauri dragged him into a brawl and despite winning via a sensational knock out and proving he can mix it toe to toe if need be, McCloskey was disappointed with his performance. As a result the Letterkenny crowd might be in for a treat next Saturday.
I am a generally a boxer not fighter and I plan to show that next weekend. This game is all about winning and I won and kept the belt last time out. That is what is important but I do plan to show my skill and put on a show next week.
McCloskeys trainer John Breen is also of the opinion that the Dungiven pro will revert to type much to Morrisons detriment next Saturday night.
Paul was so mad at himself for getting drawn into the wrong kind of fight last time out so I think that’s really fired him up for this fight, said Breen. Sometimes in the heat of the moment you get dragged into a fight. Paul has unbelievable boxing ability but he didn’t show it last time out. He’s learned a lot from that last fight though and it won’t happen again. I honestly think he will break Morrison down and break his heart similar to the way he beat Colin Lynes to win the British title.