If Paul McCloskey was shocked at the end of last night’s world title fight, the same could be said for those gathered at the big screen in St Columb’s Hall and in the bars and homes of Derry city.
When the referee’s decision to end the fight was announced after the clash of heads, the crowd in St Columb’s sat mute and stunned - you could hear a pin drop.
That was until Khan claimed in his interview that McCloskey had refused to carry on.
Those words were met with anger and a tirade of abuse by McCloskey’s fans, and Khan’s reluctance to agree to a re-match only fuelling the flames. By the time the world champion had finished talking, only a handful of the fight fans remained in the theatre.
It was a similar story in bars and private parties across Derry. In a packed Delacroix, the conclusion of the fight was greeted with jeers.
McCloskey’s fans went home believing an injustice had been visited on their man.
As the crowd erupted in the MEN arena with the fighters entering the ring, the atmosphere was building too in front of the big screen in St Columb’s Hall in Derry’s city centre - even if numbers may have been less than hoped for.
The Derry City FC Development Committee were responsible for installing the 22 square metre big screen at St Columb’s - and it took them one and a half days to do it. In the enclosed space at St Columb’s it re-created some of the big-time atmosphere at the MEN arena.
very much into the city, and at Dudey entered the ring the crowd moved to the front.
About 110 people.
The Derry City social club was reportedly busy, and Beckett’s was jammed, but with only one of the five or six screens on the boxing in the early stages.