Chaotic scenes at the M.E.N ARENA in Manchester as Bolton’s Amir Khan made a successful fourth defence of his WBA welterweight title.
The fight with European Champion, Paul McCloskey ended prematurely in Round Six,after a seemingly accidental clash. . The ringside doctor deemed that a cut above the challenger’s left eye was too serious to allow the fight to continue.
Boos erupted around the ringside, mainly from McCloskey’s supporters, and indeed it did not seem to be a sufficiently serious cut to end the fight. But that WAS the verdict so the bout ended with all three judges voting for Khan on points and in what WAS a scrappy fight, at the time it was stopped, Khan WAS clearly in front on points. How might it have ended? Who knows but the McCloskey camp was understandably outraged. Khan looked deeply embarrassed at how the fight ended.
McCloskey’s promoter, Matchroom’s Barry Hearn was particularly furious. : “It is a shameful decision, we will make a complaint and we want a re-match. I have been in the game a long time and I am absolutely astonished, I cannot believe that fight was stopped.”
McCloskey himself was visibly stunned at the decision to terminate the contest . Interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live, the Dungiven fighter said “”I’ve been waiting for this fight my whole life and it has been taken away from me by a doctor. My corner were not even given a chance to work on it. I’m shocked and I am numb. It’s ridiculous.”
Khan’s viewpoint – hardly surprisingly was a very different one : “”I wanted to knock him out to be honest. He was getting beat, his head was getting lower and lower and that was always going to happen. I am not the doctor but had it gone on another two rounds I would have knocked him out. I was getting better and better and was starting to catch him and this is one of those things that happens in boxing.”
To be honest it was not one of Khan’s better performances but that said he was well ahead