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McCloskey eyeing big win to lure Khan into rematch

ESPN staff
September 9, 2011
Amir Khan wasn't at his best in his defeat of Paul McCloskey © PA Photos

Paul McCloskey is hoping to catch Amir Khan's eye when he takes on Breidis Prescott in a WBA title eliminator at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Saturday.

McCloskey is still smarting from his controversial defeat at the hands of Khan in April, when the Northern Irishman lost on a sixth-round technical decision after the ringside doctor adjudged a cut above his eye as too severe for him to continue.

Supported by promoter Eddie Hearn, McCloskey sought a rematch but Khan refused to grant him one, the Bolton-born pugilist insisting he wanted to go after more established names.

Despite the setback, McCloskey has refused to give up on his dream of becoming a world champion and has a chance to make Khan sit up and take notice when he takes on Prescott, who knocked out Khan in 54 seconds in 2008. Should McCloskey prevail, he is optimistic he can coax Khan into going at it a second time.

"The way the fight with Khan ended, I didn't feel like a beaten fighter," the 32-year-old told The Times. "I could have taken something much easier for my first fight back, but that had been a great occasion and I proved to myself that I belong in world-class.

"It seems certain that Khan is having at least one or maybe two more fights at light-welterweight. There is talk of Erik Morales, but there is every chance it could be me if I win on Saturday."

Prescott, who has lost two of his six bouts since crushing Khan so savagely, insists McCloskey is in for the same treatment. The Colombian said: "When I went into the ring, I went in with the mentality to take Amir Khan's head off and I hit him with the right punch and got him out of there," Prescott, 28, said. "Khan made the mistake of fighting with me and if McCloskey makes the same mistake, I will be putting him to sleep, too."

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