“Dudey” set to deal with unfinished business?

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PAUL McCloskey is expected to secure a much sought-after re-match with Amir Khan this December in Manchester, the “Journal” can exclusively reveal this morning.

ARTHUR DUFFY reports

And should that fight take place, the winner would then be well placed to fight for the vacant W.B.A. World Light-Welterweight title.

Confirming the news last night, McCloskey’s business manager, Francie McNicholl, described the telephone call as a bolt out of the blue.

He said a Team Khan spokesman had been in touch with him extending good wishes to “Dudey” prior to last weekend’s victory over American, Manuel Perez, in Belfast’s Odyssey Arena.

“The Khan team then made contact with us again three days ago to investigate the possibility of a re-match with Paul and it’s certainly a proposal we would consider as Paul believes he has unfinished business in that regard,” claimed Mr. McNicholl.

“We told them we would be very interested in the fight and while negotiations are in their infancy, they will continue over this weekend, so I think it’s fair to suggest that the Khan people really want this fight to happen now that their man has lost his world titles.

Khan Resurrection?

Many pundits will view the surprise contact as a possible “resurrection fight” as Khan’s career has gone on a downward spiral following his defeat by Danny Garcia last July in Las Vegas, a fourth round TKO causing a major sensation.

But for McCloskey’s advisors it will be a welcome invitation to further his hopes of another world title tilt now that he is rated at No. 8 in the W.B.A. rankings.

“Should everything fall into place - and there’s still quite a bit of talking to be done - they anticipate the fight to take place on either the 8th or 15th of December in the same venue as their last meeting in April this year,” continued Francie.

McNicholl agreed that money would play a significant part in the proceedings but at this stage of the negotiations he was happy that both parties were keen to make it happen before the turn of the year.

“The talk has been very positive but, as always, it will come down to the ‘numbers.’ So with that in mind nothing can be confirmed at this stage but I do believe that this fight will happen,” he concluded.