Since the razzmatazz and hype surrounding the announcement of the World Title clash between Dungiven’s Paul McCloskey and Amir Khan, there has been little seen or heard from ’Dudey’.
The 31-year-old Southpaw has intentionally stayed out of the public eye, living in Belfast where he has immersed himself in a hardcore training regime for the April 16th bout.
On Saturday, however, lucky hometown fans met the man - accompanied by SKY television cameras - they are confident will bring the belt home to Dungiven.
“Preparation is going really well,” a relaxed and lean McCloskey told the ‘Journal’ at St. Canice’s Amateur Boxing Club.
“I’ve been training really hard this last four - four and a half weeks. I am in very good shape at the minute. I’m working on my conditioning and I’ve improved dramatically this last four weeks and I’m feeling very strong.”
While McCloskey is aware of the massive support for him around the country and abroad (including a man named McCloskey in New York who is no relation but wants to see a McCloskey win a World Title), Dudey’s mind is focused on Khan.
“I keep being reminded about how big a job it is, but in my own head it’s not as big a job as it’s made out to be. When I get into the shape I intend to get into I know I can do the job on Amir Khan. He’s a great boxer - make no mistake about it- but I know I can do a good job on him. Trust me.”
McCloskey stressed he had earned every punch a long the way to take on Khan.
“This hasn’t come to me by luck. I’ve got myself in a position where I am world ranked. I am European champion and part of me hopes he (Khan) is taking me lightly because I’ll wipe the floor with him then,” he said.
“At the same time I want the best of Amir Khan there on the night and I want the best of me there on the night. The we’ll find out who is the best man at the end of the day.”