McCloskey confident of shock

PAUL McCloskey has brushed off claims he is just making up the numbers when he challenges Amir Khan for his WBA light-welterweight title.

The Northern Ireland boxer has not met anyone of Khan’s class, but is confident he will not be overawed by the big occasion when the two meet at the MEN Arena on Saturday.

Khan has put his WBA light-welterweight title on the line and the Ulsterman is determined to grab the chance with both hands.

He said: “Amir is a good boxer and proved in his last fight what a great boxer he is with a lot of heart the way he hung on. It will be the greatest moment of my life.

“I am ready for the challenge and it has come at the right stage of my career.

“I have bided my time and been on the undercards of other fighters but I am here now and a look at my record shows who I have beaten.

“Amir has developed greatly under Freddie Roach and had one hell of a fight against Maidana and that fight could have been stopped in the 10th round.

“The way he came back for the last two rounds was amazing as he must have been hurt badly but all credit to him the way he hung on.

“He took a lot of punches and I hope there might be some scars from that fight.

“I have prepared as well as I can. I have never had a conditioner before but I will not leave any stone unturned.

“Amir showed what he was prepared to do by going with Freddie Roach. I don’t know what the story is with Alex Ariza, but because he was in such condition it was the main reason why he didn’t go down against Maidana – that was down to Alex.

“Skill is a lot in boxing but it is about the whole package.

“I have been in a good gym with a lot of top boxers and it has helped me mature.

“Every boxer has a few weaknesses and Amir made a few mistakes against Maidana which nearly cost him.

“I am not going to say what they were but I will be looking to exploit them.”

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