19 January 2011 – Jonny Stapleton
A nightmare pay dispute has put Paul McCloskeys dream fight with WBA light-welterweight World champion Amir Khan in serious jeopardy.
Team Khan have warned the European champion that he could price himself out of the mega fight, whilst McCloskeys advisors suggest several of the clauses demanded by Khan’s management team, as well as an unacceptable purse offer, suggest the Freddie Roach trained fighter is running scared.
Talks are still ongoing but reports coming out of both camps imply the only fighting between the pair will take place over the negotiation table and not in the ring.
McCloskeys advisor Francie McNicholl, is adamant the Dungiven stylists requests are reasonable and stressed the undefeated continental champ can upgrade to world champion via different strap holder if needs be.
McNicholl, who will hold final talks regarding the bout today, also believes Khan now realises the WBA number 5 poses a real threat and as a result the Bolton native is now looking for a way out.
“It’s probably slipping away to be honest, McNicholl explained. Our demands are very reasonable. We could have looked for a lot more, but we would love nothing more than to fight Khan.
“At the minute they’re not prepared to pay the money. They’re running scared. They thought initially that it would be an easy pay day for Khan but have come to realise that Paul isn’t an easy option. Khan wants someone who he’ll beat easily, he added.
There are other options for Paul out there. There may well be an opportunity for him after the outcome of the WBC Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley unification fight at the end of the month.
Khans father Shah Khan doesnt agree with McNicholls claims of reasonable McCloskey demands and has warned the John Breen trained fighter not to let the opportunity to grab world wide recognition to pass him by.
They get the chance of fighting Amir, and seem to think they can add a couple of noughts on the purse. McCloskey still holds on to his European title, win or lose, yet he has the chance to make his name if he can beat Amir. The same thing happened a couple of years ago with Jon Thaxton, and the fight never happened. Thaxton has since retired and never got the opportunity.