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25 OCTOBER 2014

 

McCloskey Overcomes Bad Start To School Prescott


By Tom Gray: Paul McCloskey overcame a terrible start to defeat Breidis Prescott by unanimous decision at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Saturday night. Scores were 115-113 and 114-113 twice in a simply terrific fight.

McCloskey was given a count in the first round when a grazing right hand to the head sent him to the canvas, in a decision which was openly chastised by his home support. Prescott, who destroyed Amir Khan in less than a minute of action, looked noticeably sharper than he has in recent outings, and straight right hands and hooks to the body found the mark alarmingly.

The Columbian was needle sharp in the second, as he bloodied the Irishman around the nose and mouth, with a straight right hand. The Irishman did land a nice left but he was paid back in full by Prescott who was busy and effective throughout the round.

Nobody had expected Prescott to outbox “Dudey” but that is precisely what was happening. The third was quiet but the jab was the key as it landed frequently, worsening the injury around McCloskey’s face. The crowd were quiet and the game Irishman looked like he had gone a lot more than three rounds.

The contest turned around completely in the fourth round as McCloskey, sensing urgency, came out and boxed beautifully for the entire three minutes. Suddenly the southpaw jab and the left hand were landing with accuracy and the Columbian’s jab was taken away from him. McCloskey was now demonstrating the cleverness and versatility that he is known for.

Prescott, however, recovered immediately to claim centre ring as he rammed the left lead into his opponents face in the fifth. There were moments for McCloskey but not enough of them and the eye catching work was coming from the Columbian, who was daring his man to walk on to something big.




The Columbian was keeping McCloskey honest again in the sixth but he did walk on to one or two nice counter punches. Suddenly Prescott landed a huge right hand, which shook the Dungiven man to his boots, and a follow up right smashed him in the face as another round slipped away.

The “Khanqueror” kept the jab slamming into McCloskey’s face in the seventh and powerful assaults were stiffening the legs of his opponent. The Irishman relies on reflexes, which were now dulled, and while the defensive cockiness was there, he was being hit hard repeatedly.

McCloskey needed a turn around and he was bravery personified in the eighth round as he walked into the jaws of the lion and began thumping right jabs into Prescott’s face. The crowd was electrified by their man’s stand and suddenly the Columbian was dropping his hands and looking very tired.

McCloskey was actually carrying the swagger of a puncher in the ninth, which sounds insane, given his opponent’s reputation. Prescott was looking ragged and appeared to be running out of ideas, as his big bombs whizzed over McCloskey’s head, who countered excellently.

The pattern continued in the tenth as McCloskey bounced around with confidence, cutting the Columbian off, while he worked the right jab. The clever little Irishman was having a field day and Prescott wore a look of frustration as his previous successes were being turned to dust.

Prescott was getting worse as the rounds passed and he could not find his opponent with anything significant. McCloskey, a former world title challenger, who lost to Amir Khan by technical decision in April, bullied his man all over the ring, displaying world class talent and incredible bravery.

It had been a great fight and the scoring had to be close going into the final round. McCloskey attacked with fury from the start, sending the Columbian flying onto the ropes, although he was shaken just before the bell. This reporter scored the round to McCoskey and had him one point up at the end.

It was a terrific comeback by McCloskey who shined, against all the odds, to reinvent himself at world level.


On the undercard Carl Frampton won the vacant commonwealth super bantamweight title with a fourth round technical knockout of late replacement, Mark Quon.

It was easy work for “The Jackal” who picked his opponent off at will with single shots. In the first round the right hook to the body was opening the Australian up and nothing worthwhile was coming back.

The exhibition continued in the second and the Irishman began putting spite in to his work, the check hook landing with authority. In the third Frampton was perhaps a little guilty of posing and admiring his work, as the Australian looked discouraged and ready to be taken.

It was worth the wait, however, when a perfect right hand counter punch sent Quon sprawling to the canvas. It was one for the highlight reel and the referee called a halt to the contest, shortly thereafter, in what was an impressive showing from Barry McGuigan’s protégé.

The belt that Frampton picked up had been vacated by Jason Booth, who takes on Scott Quigg, for the British title on October 22nd. Quigg was a keen observer at ringside.

The undefeated Frampton was due to face Kiko Martinez for the European title but that fight was postponed, just over a week ago, when Martinez’ father fell ill.

September 10, 2011



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