McCloskey nearer to Maidana world title bout after win

Prescott catches McCloskey with a jab in the Odyssey Arena fight
Prescott catches McCloskey with a jab in Saturday's Odyssey Arena fight

Paul McCloskey's promoter is optimistic that the Dungiven man's reward for his win over Breidis Prescott will be a world title contest against Argentine Marcos Maidana.

McCloskey earned a narrow points win over Colombian Prescott on Saturday.

Promoter Eddie Hearn now says that he will aim to match McCloskey with Argentine Maidana in Belfast.

"I would love it to be in Belfast but we will go anywhere to turn Paul into a world Champion," added Hearn.

"He deserves a world title shot after beating a man that everyone else avoids.

"He will say himself that it wasn't his best performance skill-wise but the determination and courage Paul showed against Breidis is worthy of a world title shot alone.

"The Odyssey Arena was rocking and everyone left with a smile on their face.

"That's what Paul brings to the table - a great fan base and guaranteed entertainment.

"That's the perfect mix for a world title fight."

The WBA currently describe Maidana as "world champion" with Amir Khan - who defeated McCloskey in April - elevated to the title of Super Champion.

McCloskey admitted to a slow start in Saturday's fight but finished strongly as Prescott tired - although the Colombian and many other observers at the fight reckoned that the South American had won the contest.

Predictably, the Northern Irishman felt that the judges had got the verdict right and he is now hoping for a second world title shot after his defeat by Amir Khan in April.

"I would love to fight Maidana, we have already spoken on Twitter - he's a true gent and a great fighter," said McCloskey.

"I think it's a fight that could happen and it would be fantastic to have it in Belfast again.

"The support on Saturday was unbelievable. It really pushed me over the line in the last round."