By James Slater: With just under three weeks to go until his hugely important fight with the dangerous Breidis Prescott, Ireland’s Paul McCloskey has been talking about the tactics he plans to employ in the September 10th World Boxing Association (WBA) light-welterweight elimination bout.
“Dudey,” beaten only once as a pro (by Amir Khan via controversial TKO due to that somewhat superficial cut back in April) says he plans to use his formidable southpaw skills against the murderous-hitting Colombian who famously banged out “King Khan” back in September of 2008. McCloskey feels Prescott’s best chance is to drag him into a war and land with something big, so the 31-year-old plans to box clever.
“I will use my boxing skills against Prescott, and not get dragged into a war,” he told News Letter. “I will try and outbox Prescott and not get involved in a slugging match. He is very strong and he can bang. He is also tough and has not been stopped. He is also on a bit of a run since he lost to Miguel Vazquez and Kevin Mitchell, so he will be dangerous. He has always been a fast starter but he is very strong and can go the distance.
“He is a tough hombre but I believe I have the tools to win this fight – but I have to not get involved in a war – if I can help it.”
And this may well be a key point in the fight: can McCloskey avoid a war? Kevin Mitchell, in arguably his best performance to date, managed it, and McCloskey could do a lot worse than to study the tape of the December 2009 fight that the Londoner won by wide decision. McCloskey has slippery skills, as he showed against Khan – who was never really able to land anything of note on his chin back in April – and I can see him frustrating the long-armed slugger who is also chasing a return match with the current WBA and IBF 140-pound boss.
Both men are hoping a September 10th win will either convince or force Khan to accept a rematch, and it is this incentive that will drive both men on. Of course, the chances of either guy actually getting Khan back into the ring look slim, seeing how Khan has his future all planned out (a December fight in the U.S, likely to be against Erik Morales if “El Terrible” can get past Lucas Matthysse, then a move up to 147 and then a massive fight with Floyd Mayweather). Khan seemingly has bigger fish to fry than either McCloskey or Prescott.
However, if Prescott scores a smashing KO next month, the public demand for a return between the “Khanconqueror” and the British superstar may be such that Khan feels pressure to go ahead with a second fight. Prescott, as much as he craves a return, would almost certainly agree to follow his former victim up to welterweight.
But will Prescott beat McCloskey?
In my opinion, no – he won’t. Look for “Dudey” to use his speed, his brain and his southpaw box of tricks to out-point Prescott in an exciting and engrossing 12-rounder.