Former Amir Khan opponents Paul McCloskey and Breidis Prescott will face one another on September 10 in Belfast, with both looking to stay in the conversation at 140 pounds.
Prescott (24-2, 19 KO) has built a somewhat marketable name and career out of his 54-second sparking of Khan back in 2008, but before and after that fight has not looked like quite the formidable puncher you might expect him to be based on that fight alone. Still, he mostly wins, even if it's against mediocre competition, and has only ever lost to Miguel Vazquez, a crafty lightweight who now holds a title, and Kevin Mitchell, who is a legit contender at 135, too. His last three fights have been at 140, and he's been fairly unimpressive but victorious against Bayan Jargal, Jason Davis, and Harrison Cuello.
McCloskey (22-1, 12 KO) is a former European junior welterweight titleholder who gave up that belt to face Khan in April. The fight was ugly, sloppy, and one-sided, as Khan wound up shutting out McCloskey over six rounds before the doctor and referee sent it to the cards on a cut.
It's a fine matchup for both, really, and will likely serve to weed out one as a pretender more than a contender.
As usual, Prescott is sticking to hyping the one reason he's got any name:
"I promise that if Amir is watching, and he happended to forget what occurred back in 2008, I will give him a reminder by my performance on 10 September." said Prescott on Tuesday.
"I can only hope that after I win, Amir keeps his promise and gets back in the ring with me."
It's not often you see a fighter who won have to try so hard to land a rematch, but the truth is since that fight, Khan and Prescott have gone in vastly different directions. Khan has done nothing but win, while Prescott had his bubble burst in a big way. Prescott knows very well that Khan is his best chance at a major payday, and it probably is part of the reason that he has scaled down the competition since being outclassed so thoroughly by Mitchell, after losing clearly to Vazquez (even though judge Dave Moretti had an absurd 97-92 Prescott scorecard). He wants that second fight with Khan, which will be worth more money than he can make with anyone else, because he's only really a major sell in a redemption/revenge/reckoning/rewhatever storyline there.
It's actually pretty intelligent business-wise, to be honest. But now he has McCloskey in front of him, which I think is a 50-50ish kind of fight. The style matchup could really benefit Prescott if he unleashes his straight right hand against McCloskey, a southpaw who loves keeping his hands at his sides even though he's not that quick and his reflexes aren't great. Or McCloskey could just plain be too good for Prescott, who is really up-and-down in every fight, with some rounds where he looks quite good, and others where he looks like a fraud.
I'll add this, too, in bullet point form:
- If Prescott beats McCloskey and looks good
- and Khan beats Judah on Saturday
- and Khan cannot land a fight with Tim Bradley, or won't fight the winner of Guerrero vs Maidana, and doesn't move to 147 immediately for a good fight
- then Khan should just rematch Prescott
That's where I'm at.