Paul McCloskey’s European title dream is still alive and well despite Souleymane M’baye’s withdrawl from their scheduled European Light Welterweight title fight at the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt next Friday night, November 6.
McCloskey had been set to challenge the Frenchman for his European crown but a bicep injury has forced M’baye to withdraw from the bout and vacate the European title. However promoter Barry Hearn has moved quickly to secure a replacement in the shape of Spanish Champion, Daniel “Cobra” Rasilla who will now contest the vacant title with McCloskey in Magherafelt.
Hearn said, “M’baye’s withdrawl is unfortunate but ultimately Paul just wants to get his hands on the European title and he still has the opportunity to do just that in front of his own fans. Rasilla jumped at the chance when if was offered to him. He obviously sees this as a massive opportunity, he’s been in the gym training so making the weight will not be an issue for him and he’s promised that Irish eye’s won’t be smiling next Friday night.”
However McCloskey’s trainer John Breen says the late change in opponent won’t have any impact on his charge. “Paul’s very strong mentally so this won’t affect him. Remember he went in at a weeks notice himself to stop Colin Lynes to win the British title so this won’t bother him at all.
“Obviously it’s a no lose situation for Rasilla, he’s coming in to the fight the same way Paul did against Lynes so it’s a massive chance for him but Paul has trained long and hard for this and he’ll be ready for anything on the night. I’ve always believed that Paul’s a World class fighter and winning the European title will be just another step on the road to him proving that.”
McCloskey – Rasilla headlines an action packed night of championship boxing at the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magerafelt. The undercard features a second title bout with Liverpool’s Steve Williams and Londoner Michael Grant contesting the English Light Welterweight title in a bout which will also double as an eliminator for the upcoming Light Welterweight Prizefighter event.
Belfast’ British Featherweight champion Martin Lindsay is also in action as he looks to stretch his perfect record to 15 straight wins. Fight fans will also get the opportunity to follow the progress of Barry McGuigan’s hot prospect, Carl Frampton. The 2009 Irish Senior Featherweight Champion turned pro in June and has already impressed in his two outings to date.
Liverpool’s “Dangerous” John Donnelly will also be in action as he builds towards a shot at the British bantamweight title while further local interest will come in the shape of Omagh’s popular light welterweight Damian Taggart. The card is rounded out by the professional debut of hard hitting Belfast heavyweight, David Hannah.
The event will be live on Sky Sports and tickets priced £30, £60 and £90 are available from Ticketmaster, all usual outlets and the boxers on the bill. Contact Ticketmaster 0844 8472455 (0818 719300 from ROI), Box Office 01277 359900, Julie 07745698372, Emma 07703723074, Francie 07803282224 or Eurospar 02877741245.