THIS weekend will see two of the most prominent Roe Valley athletes take to the ring during a huge night of boxing in Belfast this Saturday night.
Paul ‘Dudey’ McCloskey is due to take on a big-name American in Manuel Perez – in a fight which could yet turn out to be a title fight for the local southpaw, if ongoing negotiations are successful.
Meanwhile, his neighbour and fellow boxer, Banagher middleweight Eamon ‘King’ Kane is also set to fight in the Odyssey Arena.
O’Kane had hoped to fight for the Celtic title, but negotiations with a range of boxers fell through, a situation his manager Francie McNicholl puts down to the fact that few people are willing to step in to the ring with the heavy hitter.
At the time of going to press, no opponent willing to enter the ring with ‘King Kane’ had stepped forward, but Francie McNicholl said he had no fear that an opponent would be secured ahead of Saturday night’s (September 22) event.
The local pair are set to fight on the undercard in a major night of boxing, with the Belfast fighter and Barry McGuigan prodigy Carl Frampton topping the bill.
McCloskey has said he has no choice but to win the fight, following his disappointing loss to DeMarcus Corley in his last outing.
“Defeat isn’t an option here – I have to win this fight,” said Dudey. “I want to win and I want to win the fight well but if I win ugly I don’t really care because I want to get up those WBC rankings as soon as the fight is over.
“I have seen him fight and he is a tough customer, and he comes into this fight off the back of a good result beating Jose Miguel Cotto in his last fight. If I am not at my best this could be a hard night’s work because he is there all the time, he works all the time and he is in your face, so I need to be at my best to put him off his game.”