The ‘King Khan Returns’ final press conference took place today at the Manchester Town Hall ahead of an explosive night of boxing at the M.E.N Arena this Saturday night which will be televised live on Primetime Pay-Per-View (Channel 480 on Sky) in the United Kingdom and on tape delay in the United States on HBO’s World Championship Boxing.
McCloskey has made the trip over from Northern Ireland in the hope of crashing the homecoming of local hero Amir ‘King’ Khan, who will fight for the first time in Britain since his first round stoppage of Dmitriy Salita in December 2009.
Both fighters looked confident and were in great shape, with all the undercard fighters present including Rendell Munroe, Craig Watson, Martin Murray, Gary Buckland and Jamie Kavanagh.
The press conference was hosted by boxing legend turned boxing promoter Oscar de la Hoya, who was keen to emphasize that this was not a fight to be missed.
“I’m looking forward to this fight and am not letting anything distract me. I’ve had an excellent camp with my trainer Freddie Roach and new conditioner Michael Vale. We did some great work in Los Angeles and the Philippines, and I know that McCloskey has been giving his all in training.
“Some people think this fight is going to be an easy one for me but they’re wrong. Every fight I go into I train like I’m the challenger and this time has been the same. McCloskey is hungry and after my world title, so I can’t look beyond him.”
“There has been talk of a unification fight with Timothy Bradley in the summer, but I can’t think about anything like that because McCloskey is the man I need to get past. I feel strong and am just looking forward to getting in the ring now. The wait is the hardest part because I have done the hard work and am just eager to get into there and do the business on Saturday night.”
“I know Amir Khan is a good fighter but I believe he is beatable. The support in Northern Ireland has been immense, they have my posters everywhere. Training has been intense because I know this is my shot to become a world champion.”
“I have always believed that I would be a world champion and now my time has come. There will be a strong Irish contingent coming over and I won’t disappoint.”
“I always trust in myself but I’m going to shock the boxing world this weekend when I’m victorious.”
Oscar de la Hoya
“This is going to be a great fight, and that is a word I do not use lightly. What you have are two fighters in their prime, with styles that will make for enthralling viewing. Amir showed the level he is now at by crossing the pond to take on the slick Paulie Malignaggi before that epic encounter with one of the hardest punchers in boxing, Marcos Maidana.
“Amir was eager to show his heart in that fight. He could have beaten Maidana by using his superior boxing skills but he was keen to make it a fight his fans would love and that says a lot about him. Amir is a crowd pleaser, and on Saturday night he will be sure to turn on the fireworks.”
“Nobody should underestimate McCloskey. I have seen his fights and know that he has true fighting spirit. He will be aiming to become a world champion this weekend and a hungry fighter is a dangerous fighter. This will be one hell of a fight.”
Asif Vali: Khan Promotions
“The response we have had from this fight has been phenomenal, we only have a handful of tickets left and are expecting a sell out at the M.E.N. Amir is looking forward to his return fight and has prepared brilliantly. I’m sure McCloskey will be in the best shape of his life, so the fans can expect an amazing night of boxing action.”
“King Khan Returns,” the WBA Light Welterweight Championship fight featuring Amir “King” Khan defending his title against undefeated European Champion Paul McCloskey on April 16 at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester, is a 12 round bout presented by in association with Khan Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions. The event will be broadcast live on Primetime Pay-Per-Viewin the U.K. at 8:00 PM BST, with the main event being aired on a delayed basis in United States on HBO’s World Championship Boxing featuring the live WBC Welterweight World Title bout between Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz at 9:45 PM ET/6:45 PM PT.