Paul McCloskey Guts Out Tough Decision Win Over Breidis Prescott

By James Slater - Tonight in Belfast, local hero Paul McCloskey won a close, hard-fought decision over the always-dangerous Breidis Prescott of Colombia. After 12 highly engrossing rounds, the 32-year-old southpaw slickster emerged the winner by scores of 114-113, 115-113 and 114-113. McCloskey, now in line for a second shot at the WBA 140-pound title, improved to 22-1(12). Prescott is now 24-3(19).

It was a great start for younger man Prescott, who scored a knockdown in the opening round. It wasn’t a great or hurtful knockdown by any means, as McCloskey went down from a cuffing left hand to the side of the head, but the ref scored the knockdown..

The 2nd was another good session for Prescott, as he caught an advancing McCloskey with a shot that bloodied the Irishman’s nose. McCloskey came back with a left hand to the head that drew cheers from the big crowd. It was now 2-rounds to zero for Prescott on my card though.

Looking relatively easy to hit compared to his past fights, McCloskey took a left hook to the head as well as a number of left jabs in the 3rd. Looking busted up and falling behind, the older man was being outboxed by a patient Prescott. McCloskey landed a solid body shot at the end of the round.

McCloskey became more aggressive in the 4th as he finally got into his groove. The pace was fast, but now the former European champ was having some success. A right hand snapped McCloskey’s head back at the start of the 5th, but Prescott then had to take some shots to the body. McCloskey was growing in confidence, his low-held hands more fluid.

Prescott landed his best shot of the night in the 6th, when a big right hand to the head hurt and wobbled McCloskey. Surviving the follow-up attack of the Columbian, “Dudey” showed great heart as well as a solid chin.

It was after this stage in the fight that Prescott began to feel the pace visibly, his work-rate fading. McCloskey, energised by this, began to land more work as well as show bravado whenever the still-dangerous Prescott did land.

The 8th and 9th-rounds belonged to McCloskey, as he managed to back Prescott up. There was a warning given to Prescott for a low blow in the 9th, and McCloskey landed more clean work. The 10th was close, even on my card, but the talented southpaw definitely won the 11th. Prescott really did look tired by now.

The 12th round saw some great action, perhaps the best of the fight. Both men went for it, knowing the fight was on the line. McCloskey won the early going, but Prescott appeared to have his man in trouble later in the session. The crowd loved the frenetic action, and then came the bell. How had the three officials scored it?

I myself had Prescott a one-point winner, but the fight was too close for serious argument. Certainly the Prescott corner never complained.

Will McCloskey now fight Amir Khan in a return, or will he land a fight with Marcos Maidana? It’s tough to see where Prescott goes next.

Article posted on 11.09.2011

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