The final countdown for Dungiven’s Dudey

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Dungiven boxer Paul McCloskey is “100 per cent” confident he will bring the World Title belt home to Dungiven.

The 31 year-old fights Amir Khan this weekend in Manchester’s MEN arena in front of thousands of cheering fans from his hometown and around the world.

The European champion told the ‘Journal’ he’s in the best shape of his life and ready for the fight of his life.

“I’m 100 per cent confident I can do the job and bring the belt back home,” he said from Manchester.

With two young sons his “number one priority”, the southpaw said he is striving to win for them and to give them a good life. He’s also mindful and thankful of all the support he’s had, in particular from people in Dungiven.

Manager and father-in-law Francie McNicholl said the reception from people in Manchester towards Dudey has been fantastic.

At a media set-up on Tuesday, fans were flocking to get an autograph and picture with McCloskey. And on Wednesday night he was mobbed by supporters at the Irish Heritage Centre , where guests included boxer Ricky Hatton.

The homecoming for McCloskey is set for 6pm on Monday in Dungiven.

“We thought Dungiven was absolutely the right place for it,” said McNicholl. “That’s where the first celebration should be, where we should bring the belt back to first.”

The Sunday Journal will have full coverage of the World Title challenge between McCloskey and Khan, from Manchester, from Dungiven and from Derry City, with more in Tuesday’s ‘Journal’.

See further coverage

on pages 2, 7, 44 and 45.