JOHN BREEN predicts Paul McCloskey will produce a boxing masterclass to end the world title aspirations of Amercian journeyman, DeMarcus Corely at the King’s Hall tomorrow night.
SIMON COLLINS reports
The Belfast trainer has been so impressed with the Dungiven southpaw’s gym work and conditioning that he foresees an early stoppage which will catapult ‘Dudey’ into the WBC’s top 10 and strengthen his claims for a second shot at a world title.
In fact, Breen boldly insisted ‘Dudey’ will end the challenge of the former three time world champion within seven rounds having devised, what he believes is, the perfect game-plan.
Following McCloskey’s brutal battle with Breidis Prescott at the Odyssey Arena last September, Breen was at pains to ensure the former Europen champion won’t engage in a brawl against the American veteran.
McCloskey’s strength is his speed and boxing ability and Breen reckons the ‘flat-footed’ Washington man will be too slow to cause ‘Dudey’ too many problems.
“This guy is dangerous but if Paul does what he’s good at then he shouldn’t have any problems,” said Breen. “Paul’s a superb boxer but he’s just an ordinary fighter so he won’t fight the same kind of fight he did against Prescott, definitely not.
“This guy’s chin is too hard,” he added. “I wouldn’t say it was Paul’s fault that he fought Prescott the way he did because we had to change our tactics because of the way Prescott came at him in the opening rounds.”
Corley (38-19-1) arrived in Belfast this week in confident mood, stating he would have to stop McCloskey within the distance to guarantee he wouldn’t be the victim of a ‘hometown decision’.
However, Breen took exception to those comments, claiming McCloskey won’t need to rely on the judges on Saturday night.
“We’ve been working on a lot of things in the gym and I’m very happy with his conditioning for this fight. Corely’s very, very slow and he’s flat-footed so Paul will hit him with a few shots and move round the side and hit him again and make full use of his speed.
“I think Paul will stop him in maybe five or seven rounds. I got three or four of his fight tapes sent over and in one of his fights he got knocked out with a body punch and was hit six or seven times with the same shot - a left hook to the body and that’s one of Paul’s shots. He’ll do it within the seven rounds and he’ll win with class.”
Breen did concede, however, that Corely - who is a veteran of 58 professional fights - cannot be taken lightly.
“He won a 10 rounder against an unbeaten fighter and he’s a former world champion and has loads of confidence so, yes, you have to respect him.
“But Paul looks fantastic in the gym and sometimes he doesn’t do what he’s told but this time he’s listening and doing what he’s told to do,” he laughed.
“I’ve been very, very impressed with him. He’s a good trainer anyway but he’s been training very hard for this fight.
“He’s been working on using his speed and his feet and concentrating on his boxing skills.”
Stakes have been raised
With the WBC light-welterweight crown now in his sights, a win for McCloskey will keep him well on course for a second shot at a world title.
The stakes have been raised significantly following the announcement by Matchroom Sport promoter, Eddie Hearn this week, which suggested ‘Dudey’ could fight for the WBC title on home soil in early September, while a mouthwatering showdown with Juan Manuel Marquez is also on the cards.
“Every fight Paul fights now is an all or nothing fight,” declared Breen. “You’re not going to get a world title fight off a loss so it’s important he gets this one out of the way without any problems.
“There’s talk of a world title for Paul now in September for the WBC belt and Juan Marquez also said he wants to fight him. But it’s all about getting this fight over with first, we’ve got to forget about Marquez until after Saturday night.
“Paul’s not even thinking about Marquez but it adds that extra bit of spice and prestige to the fight I suppose.”
Commenting at a public workout at Stormont on Wednesday afternoon, McCloskey also claimed he can’t afford to take his eye off the job at hand.
“Winning is what it is all about and that is what I have to do against Corley. Impressing is one thing - but winning is all that matters. I don’t care if I have to crawl around the ring or fly through the air - I will win this fight.
“In my last fight against Breidis Prescott at the Odyssey I got off to a terrible start and after three to four rounds I was behind.
“But I got the job done that night and won the fight. If I knock him out in 20 seconds or have to go the distance, that is fine. As long as I am the winner,” added McCloskey.
“Corley likes to dictate the pace of a fight and take things easy at times, but I like fighting at a high tempo and I will put him under pressure. He has been there, done it and bought the t-shirt, but I believe I will get the job done,” he concluded.