Paul McCloskey hopes victory leads to shot at Amir Khan

PAUL McCloskey hopes a win on Friday takes him closer to an all-British world title fight with Amir Khan. McCloskey, 30, makes the first defence of his European Light-Welterweight Championship when he takes on Italian Giuseppe Lauri at the Kings Hall in Belfast. Northern Irishman McCloskey, who will be fighting in front of his home crowd, believes a good performance could lead to a shot at WBA title holder Khan. Im very confident of winning the fight and Im in great shape, said McCloskey, winner of all 20 of his professional contests..

Ive seen him on a DVD and hes very experienced, hes been around the block and is very clever.

But some good boxers have beaten him and Ive seen some of his defeats. He likes to control the fight and fight at his pace but Im going to do something he doesnt like and take the fight from him

Its been a roller-coaster ride so far but Im getting better and Im hoping to climb the ladder as quickly as possible.

I think I can go on and fight for World Championships and someone like Amir Khan I know I could beat him.

Amir Khan is now in America and all I can do is keep moving up the ladder. I think Im the WBC number eight so Im getting close to being number one.

To be fair to Amir Khan he has improved but hes still vulnerable and not a superstar just yet. Hes getting better but hes not unbeatable and hes had a few fights where hes looked vulnerable.

Hes a very good boxer but people are talking about him in the same breath as Manny Pacquiao which is ridiculous.

Its nice to know that if I keep winning Im there or thereabouts to fight him.

Ex-Italian champion Lauri is four years older than McCloskey and has twice fought for the European belt before but lost on each occasion to Brixtons Ted Bami.

Despite the potential showdown with Khan in the future for McCloskey, he insists he will not be complacent and under-estimate a fighter who has won 50 of 56 bouts.

I never take my mind off the next job and that job is on Friday, added McCloskey.

Every fight Ive had, Ive won comfortably but you always have to be ready for whatever comes your way.

To headline at the Kings Hall will be fantastic and you look at the past names that have fought there.

If I beat Lauri, the mandatory challenger, then it will be a massive boost for my career.

Tickets are priced 30, 60 and 90 are available from Ticketmaster and all usual outlets. Contact Ticketmaster 0844 8472455, (0818 719300 from ROI), Julie 07745698372, Francie 07803 282224. Tickets will also be available at the venue on the night.

The show will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2 from 10.30pm on Friday.

Kings Hall, Belfast

Friday 11 June 2010

12 x 3 mins European Light-Welterweight Championship @10st

10 x 3 mins Vacant Celtic Welterweight Championship @ 10st 7lbs

6 x 3 mins Lightweight Contest @ 9st 12lbs
GAVIN REES (Newbridge) v SAMUEL AMOAKO (Ghana)

6 x 3 mins Lightweight Contest @ 9st 12lbs
ANDY MURRAY (Dublin) v JOHN BAGULEY (Rotherham)

6 x 3 mins Lightweight Contest @ 9st 12lbs

6 x 3 mins Super-Bantamweight Contest @ 8st 12lbs

6 x 3 mins Middleweight Contest @ 11st 9llbs

6 x 3 mins Light-Middleweight Contest @ 11st 2lbs

4 x 3 mins Flyweight Contest @ 8st 3lbs

6 x 3 mins Light-Heavyweight Contest @ 12st 8lbs
LUIS GARCIA (Cuba/Ireland) v NATHAN KING (Mountain Ash)

Article posted on 10.06.2010

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