Khan fails to shine

17 04 2011

Khan-McCloskey: Controversial ending

Amir Khan held onto his WBA light-welterweight title after a controversial ending to his fight with Paul McCloskey in Manchester.

The fight was called off in sixth round following a clash of heads which left McCloskey with a small cut just above his left eye.

The doctor strangely enough was immediately called into the ring to check out the cut, and despite the cut bleeding along the challengers nose instead of into his eye, referee Luis Pabon stopped the fight.

The result went to the score cards with all three judges giving Khan every round.

Khan was clearly in control throughout the six rounds and was never really tested in truth by the challenger. The awkward Irishman never really threw too many combinations, as he threw just one or two shots at a time and definitely didn’t deserve to win a single round.

Khan peppered McCloskey with shots throughout the six rounds without really hurting him but was firmly in control as he displayed his lighting fast hands and good discipline. However there were occasions when Khan seemed to be running in with his shots, and against a better opponent you can bet he would get punished for that.

The sad thing about this fight was I believe McCloskey would have at least gone the distance with Khan as he was rarely hurt, despite Khan’s dominance. The fans, those there in the arena and those who paid to watch it at home, were robbed of seeing a full fight.

The referee must surely be looked at following this fight and serious questions will have to be asked as to why McCloskey’s cut man wasn’t given the chance to look at the cut. I mean what’s the point of having a cut man if he isn’t allowed to chance to do his job?

Hopefully McCloskey will have a chance at world level because it is sad to have your dream taken away because of a bad refereeing decision.

One thing is for sure, Khan will have to significantly improve to have any chance against Timothy Bradley. One this form Bradley will have no problems dealing with Khan and will be the one to unify the division.

See below for the explosive post-fight press conference:


Khan must deliver

16 04 2011

Khan-McCloskey: Who will win?

Amir Khan takes on Paul McCloskey in a defence of his WBA light-welterweight crown tonight (Saturday 16 May) at the MEN Arena in Manchester.

Khan has come under criticism from some quarters for taking this fight on but with Khan wanting to fight around this time of the year, was there really another viable opponent?

Those expecting him to fight Juan Manuel Marquez or Bredis Prescott are quite deluded. Marquez, despite his age, is still a class above Khan, while Bredis Prescott was no more than a flash in the pan who was school by Kevin Mitchell last year.

We all know it’s a stay busy fight for Khan who should win before going on to face American Timothy Bradley this summer in a unification bout, that is assuming everything goes to plan for the Bolton-born boxer who has had to deal with the fight being withdrawn from Sky Sports and moved to Primetime cable network.

So Khan’s will need to display the mental toughness he showed following his defeat to Prescott and in those few rounds when rocked against Maidana.

The last time Khan was expected to walk over an opponent like this was when he faced his darkest hour – as he suffered a KO at the hands of Bredis Prescott. Now I’m not saying McCloskey will do this to Khan as Khan has become a better fight under the guidance of renowned coach Freddie Roach.

But McCloskey is a tricky opponent who is undefeated and he’s coming over here with a real desire to win. He’s not just here to make up the numbers. He can punch and be very awkward at times with the way he throws his punches.

Some people forget that McCloskey is a champion in his own right and he has every chance of causing an upset. He is the total underdog and has nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Sweet Science UK prediction

If Khan starts quick, which he tends to, and McCloskey has his mind elsewhere this could all be over within 4 rounds.

However if McCloskey can weather the storm in the first few rounds then he has a punchers chance. McCloskey’s best bet is to draw Khan into a toe to toe battle because McCloskey can punch and Khan’s chin is still questionable despite his performance against Maidana.

But I think Khan will have too much hand speed and power for McCloskey and I believe Khan will come into this fight with a real desire to put a show on for his homecoming fight.

I can see Khan winning via KO inside 7.

See below for HBO’s Max Kellerman’s prediction.

Don’t forget to tune into Primetime from 8pm to watch the fight.

One to watch: Joe Collins

15 04 2011

Collins (left): One to watch

With the state of British boxing looking better than ever, The Sweet Science UK sat down with rising star Joe “Crackers” Collins to discuss how he got into boxing and how he sees his future in boxing panning out. 

The 24-year-old Manchester based-boxer is a bit of a late bloomer to the professional ranks and relatively unknown but with his last fight being promoted under the Hatton Promotions banner; he is sure to be a face British fans will soon come to recognise very soon.

“I first got into boxing through a friend. I was coming off a knee injury I sustained in a football match and I was just trying to get fit again to play football.

“But once I was there I couldn’t turn back. The atmosphere in the gym and the work rate was first class and after I had my first sparring session, I didn’t look at any other sport. Boxing had and has taken over my life.”

Studying boxers and boxing itself became the norm for Joe, who counts the likes of Marco Antonio Barrrera, Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe as his idols.

“I used to look up to the likes of Hatton, Calzaghe, Michael Brodie, Scott Harrison and, of course, Barrera. They were brilliant to watch.

“My favourite fight has to be the second fight between Barrera and Erik Morales, it was an incredible fight. But Michael Gomez v Alex Arthur was a bit special too and has to be up there.”

The light-welterweight now trains under the well-respected coach Bob Shannon at Shannon’s Fighting Fit gym in Openshaw.

“Bob Shannon is a great trainer who is very determined and very knowledgeable about the sport.

“I look up to all the lads I train with at Shannon’s gym. Denton Vassell, Prince Arron, Kieran Maher and of course, Matthew Hatton. It’s a top set-up there and everyone in the gym helps out. They all play their part in the gym and they deserve all the credit in the world for making it such a success.”

Talk moves on to Joe’s style of boxing, which may shock a few of you considering his “Crackers” nickname.

“I like to slip and roll under shots you know. I’m not adverse to mixing it up but that’s definitely my style.

When asked on which boxer he’d like to fight, the response wasn’t as I’d expected.

“Rocky Balboa! (Haha) Why not? To be honest I’ve never really thought of who I’d like to step into the ring with.”

Following a defeat in his last fight (the fight was stopped in the third following a clash of heads which left Collins with a broken nose) we asked Collins how he sees his career in boxing panning out.

“I want to get as far as my ambition and drive will take me.”

When asked if he feels he could become a title holder in his division, Collins responded quite simply.

“If I don’t believe in myself no-one would ever believe me.”

There is no doubting he’s got people who believe in him. The likes of Hatton Promotions, Bob Shannon and his stable mates. But most importantly he has that inner self belief that is the most crucial thing for a boxer.

Finally we finished up the interview by asking Collins, a student of the game, on his prediction for the up-coming Khan – McCloskey fight.

“I think Khan will win by stoppage late on, around the 10th. McCloskey will be very tricky and he can hit too, so it will be a tough fight for Amir, a lot tougher than some think.”

Khan’t please everyone

11 04 2011

Khan-McCloskey: Schedule change

Amir Khan’s title clash with Paul McCloskey will now be shown live on the cable station Primetime.

The fight, which was promoted as a Sky Box Office event only two months ago, has now fallen into the hands of the cable network station after Sky decided to pull the plug following several changes to the bill.

Sky did believe the fight will still be screen live on Sky Sports 3 after financial terms were initially agreed with the Khan camp but that is no longer the case.

A Sky Sports spokesperson said: “Khan vs McCloskey will not be shown on Sky Box Office or any of the Sky Sports channels as it has not proved possible to reach an agreement on TV scheduling.

“Financial terms were agreed and a solution was offered for the fight to appear on Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports HD3 following the decision not to broadcast on Sky Box Office. It was not accepted.”

Despite this obvious setback Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive, told The Sun: “There is no doubt that Amir is boxing’s next true superstar and, as a world champion, is a fighter that now commands pay-per-view billing.”

Now while I do agree with Schaefer to an extent, the fact Sky scrapped their box office plans for this fight should serve as a big warning to the Khan camp. While he is a fans favourite, he is not in the Ricky Hatton mould over here and there is a lot of work to be done on that front and he is not a huge star in America either, so Schaefer should be very careful about calling Khan “boxing’s next true superstar” as there are plenty more viable candidates.

Sadly not a lot of people will see this fight now as not many people have access to the Primetime channel, just ask Carl Froch, but Khan will have to win and win in style in order to get fans back on his side because at the moment something isn’t quite right with the chemistry.

And if this is the case, Schaefer and Khan can forget about being “boxing’s next true superstar”.

See below for a fan made promo video for the fight: