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Khan and McCloskey set for WBA light-welterweight title fight
Brits set for world title fight
Posted Jan 19, 2011 by Jeff Dawson
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Amir Khan and Paul McCloskey are on a collision course and look set for an all-British showdown for the WBA light-welterweight crown.
The Northern Irishman, McCloskey, has made a formal approach to fight the world champion and Bolton-boy Khan appears happy to take the European champion on at 140lb.
Despite wanting to unify the division this year, Khan will have to wait to fight the winner of the coming bout between Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander at the end of the month. Presently, Bradley is the WBO light-welterweight champion and Alexander is in possession of the WBC belt.
And the fight with McCloskey, likely to take place at the MEN Arena in Manchester on April 16th, is a perfect way to prepare for that unification bout – assuming Khan can get past the undefeated 31-year-old McCloskey.
The Northern Irishman has won all of his 22 fights and has twice successfully defended the European crown since beating Spaniard Daniel Rasilla in 2009.
It is logical that he will now make the step up and face a fighter who has matured greatly since uprooting to America and joining forces with inspirational trainer, Freddie Roach.
Khan’s progression has been undeniable and I think his class and speed will be too much for McCloskey in this fight and that he will retain his title. However, I don’t believe he will floor the challenger.
It will be a good fight and the best news of all is that if McCloskey does pull off a shock win, we’ll still have a British world champion.
Khan told the BBC: “He’s approached us. He’s an undefeated fighter. I’m happy to take this fight. The next level for him is world title and I’d like to take the fight on. He’s a good fighter.”
Meanwhile, McCloskey added: “They want the fight so it will be easy enough for me to take it. My style against Amir’s could lead to an exciting fight. I am a European champion and I am ready to jump onto the next level.”
It will be great for British fight fans to see Khan back on these shores fighting and I’m sure this fight will draw a massive response. There are still those out there that doubt Khan’s ability and his chin, despite his recent victory over the hard-hitting Marcos Maidana, and he will be keen to put on a show once more and show that he has all the tools to dominate the division for a long time.
McCloskey, on the other hand, will be desperate to show that he has the talent to make the next step up and that he can mix it with the best fighters on the biggest stage.
All in all these components make for a fascinating fight and I hope it is one that is made so us British fight fans get to see a cracker on our own doorstep.