Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport are delighted to announce that Paul McCloskey will face Breidis Prescott in an official eliminator for the WBA Light-Welterweight title at the Odyssey Arena on Saturday 10 September, live on Sky Sports.
It marks a return to action for the Dungiven fighter after his World title challenge against Amir Khan in Manchester on April 16 ended in controversy after the fight was stopped in the sixth round after McCloskey suffered a cut through a clash of heads with the Bolton fighter.
The Khan loss is the sole blemish on McCloskey’s 23 fight record and the 31 year-old gets the perfect opponent to avenge that defeat – the only man to beat Khan, Breidis Prescott.
“We’re going for the man that Amir couldn’t beat,” said McCloskey. “I could’ve gone for an easier fight but I don’t feel like a beaten fighter so why should I go for anything but the best.
“Breidis Prescott is as tough an opponent as you could ask for but I want to fight the best fighters out there. I’m not looking to chase Khan for the rest of my career – I want to be a World Champion. I’ll fight anyone to reach that goal and I know I belong at World level.
“The support in Manchester was such a boost on the night, and on September 10 there will be twice as many inside the Odyssey Arena so it’s going to be something special.”
The 28 year-old Columbian stunned Khan in September 2008, knocking out the Brit inside a minute of the opening round at the MEN Arena to wrestle the WBO Inter-Continental title from his grip. Now, Prescott and McCloskey will meet in Belfast with a World title shot on the line, in a fight that Hearn says is for the fans.
“Paul's fans were simply incredible in Manchester and to get travelling support like that was breathtaking,” said Hearn. “We wanted to give Paul and his fans a huge homecoming fight and we have delivered that in Breidis Prescott.
"The Amir Khan experience was obviously disappointing but what better way to come back from that by beating the only man to have ever beaten him?
“Paul is one win away from another crack at a World title and it's going to be a special night at the Odyssey. The undercard will be packed with Irish talent and the atmosphere electric as Dudey’s Army gets on the march again.”
Since beating Khan, Prescott has fought in the UK against Kevin Mitchell in Newcastle in December 2009, losing out to the Essex man for the WBO Inter-Intercontinental title on points.
The Miami-based Columbian has claimed three wins since that defeat and believes that both men will be eyeing up a second shot at Khan should they come out on top.
“I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to fight Paul McCloskey,” said Prescott. “I want to thank everyone involved in making this fight possible.
"I promise that if Amir is watching, and he happened to forget what occurred back in 2008, I will give him a reminder by my performance on September 10. I can only hope that after I win, Amir keeps his promise and gets back in the ring with me. I will see everyone on September 10.”
Tickets for Paul McCloskey vs. Breidis Prescott plus a full championship undercard to be announced soon go on sale on at 9am on Thursday morning (July 20) priced at £30-£200 (tickets may be subject to service charge) and available from the Odyssey Arena Box Office on 02890 73 9074, Ticketmaster 0844 277 4455 (24 hour).
Tickets are also available in person from the Odyssey Arena Box Office, at Ticketmaster outlets, and online from www.ticketmaster.ie.