22 January 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
Paul McCloskey could yet get the chance to dethrone the WBA light welterweight champion of the World Amir King Khan this Spring.
A public pay dispute last week seemed to ensure an unsatisfactory end to negotiations regarding an April English-Irish meeting, but McCloskeys trainer John Breen stressed talks are more on their sick bed than actually dead.
The outgoing Irish Coach of the Year revealed dialogue between both camps has been resurrected and there is a mutual willingness to the get the title fight made. McCloskeys purse is still proving a stumbling block with Khans father stressing the Dungiven fighter like, first option Lamont Peterson, is proving too expensive.
However, Breen claims the Freddie Roach trained stars last opponent, Marcos Maidana was paid over one million dollars and said McCloskey is only asking for a fair days pay for a fair days work.
McCloskey has admitted he would have fought Khan for nothing other than the prestige of beating him three years ago, but Breen believes the European champ has earned the right to a good pay day.
Talks are still alive, Breen told Mirror Sport. They are still interested in making the fight and lets hope it can be made. Once talks are happening there is always a chance. We are hopeful Paul and Khan can fight. Maidana got over a million to fight Khan last time out, Paul is not looking for anything like that. Believe me what Paul is asking for is very fair. He isnt asking anything like what Maidana got he just wants they money he deserves as European champion.
There have been suggestions Khan has just realised the threat McCloskey actually poses and out of fear is trying to sabotage the fight.
McCloskey is certainly confident of victory and has been calling the Bolton Golden Boy out for years. Indeed, Breen revealed that when Frank Warren was in control of boxings latest sensation’s affairs he wasnt keen on a clash with the Irish puncher.
It is not all about money. Paul McCloskey has been calling out Khan for four years. I strongly believe Paul can beat Khan. We wouldnt have been looking for that fight otherwise. I said it to Frank Warren years ago when Khan was fighting in the Kings Hall and he told me then they wouldnt fight Paul because they thought they would loose. Warren was afraid then maybe Khan is now?
If the mega Manchester bout doesnt come off McCloskey will defend his European strap in the Kings Hall against Michelle Di Rocco on March 5.
And Breen believes if Khan can’t be done the Continental Champion can take another path toward world domination.
We dont need this fight as much as people are making out. Paul is number 3 with the WBC. The one and two ranked fighters, Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley fight next week. If Paul defends his title successfully he will be in a strong position to challenge the winner of that fight. I would also like to see Paul against Maidana. Paul would make Maidana look poor and I think Maidana should have stopped Khan. That fight would enable Paul to show the world how good he really is.