Amir Khan, Paul McCloskey and Ricky Hatton Speak
By Special Report on Doghouse Boxing (Feb 8, 2011) Photo © German Villasenor, Doghouse Boxing
       
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, February 8 - Amir "King" Khan returns home. On Saturday, April 16, at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England, WBA Super Lightweight World Champion Amir "King" Khan will defends his title in England for the first time since December of 2009 when he faces unbeaten EBU champion Paul "Dudey" McCloskey of Northern Ireland.

"I'm thrilled to be coming home to England to defend my title on April 16 and I promise my fans that I will give them a performance they won't forget," said Khan. "McCloskey is a tough contender, so I expect him to be in his best form. I'm in my prime now and I want to make a statement in this fight and show that I am the best super lightweight in the world."

"Fighting for a world championship is a dream come true for me and I'm not about to let it go to waste," said McCloskey. "Khan is a very good fighter and I respect him, but he is beatable and I plan to do just that. I've sacrificed a lot to get here and this is my time."

"This is the fight that the British boxing fans want to see because both fighters are champions and both are going to give their all," said Asif Vali of Khan Promotions. "There will definitely be fireworks on April 16."

"There's nothing like an Amir Khan fight in England and I know the atmosphere is going to be electric on April 16," said Oscar de la Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions. "Amir showed great skill and heart in his fight with Maidana in December and he wants to keep that momentum going, but Paul McCloskey is a tough, undefeated challenger who has been waiting for his moment under the bright lights. This one has all the makings of a great fight."

"I am very pleased and excited to be involved in this promotion and I am sure it will be a big success," said Ricky Hatton, President of Hatton Promotions.

Khan vs. McCloskey, a 12-round WBA Super Lightweight World Championship bout, is presented by Khan Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions in association with Hatton Promotions.

Tickets for Khan vs. McCloskey, priced at £300, £200, £125, £75, £50 and £40, go on sale on Tuesday, February 8 at 1:00 PM GMT. They may be purchased at the M.E.N. Arena Box Office, by calling +44(0)8448478000, or online at www.ticketmaster.co.uk or www.men-arena.com.

The reigning superstar of British boxing, Bolton's Amir "King" Khan (24-1, 17 KO's) represented England in the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he captured a Silver Medal at the age of 17. He has carried that momentum into his professional career which has seen him rise to the top of the super lightweight class. Winner of six fights in a row, Khan won the WBA Super Lightweight World Title in July of 2009 with a 12-round win over Andriy Kotelnik and has successfully defended his belt with knockout wins over Dmitriy Salita and Paulie "Magic Man" Malignaggi. His most exciting defense came in his most recent fight on December 11, 2010 during which Khan scored a dramatic 12-round unanimous decision victory over Marcos Maidana. The fight saw Khan score a first round knockdown and dominate the early-rounds of the fight, but then Maidana made the fight a close one by closing the gap in the late rounds. Khan displayed an incredible amount of heart and fortitude in surviving a vicious tenth round onslaught by Maidana that would have sent most fighters to the canvas. Khan survived the round and came out swinging in the eleventh and twelfth round, sealing the unanimous decision victory in an instant classic. The fight was so acclaimed that it was named the Boxing Writers Association of America's 2010 Fight of the Year. Now, the 24-year-old returns to fight in England for the first time in over a year to face a hungry challenger looking to unseat him from his throne.

A proud native of Derry, Northern Ireland, 31-year-old Paul McCloskey (22-0, 12 KO's) has been waiting for this moment since the first time he laced up the gloves. A three-time Irish amateur champion, the talented southpaw turned professional in 2005 and has since proven himself to be one of his country's top exports. The current European Union Super Lightweight Champion has two defenses under his belt and owns wins over Toncho Tonchev, Cesar Bazan, Colin Lynes, Dean Harrison and Giuseppe Lauri. A world championship bout against Khan is the most important of his career and he is determined to the title back with him to Northern Ireland.

For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com, www.amirkhanworld.com, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GoldenBoyBoxing, www.twitter.com/AmirKingKhan or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing or www.facebook.com/AmirKhanTheOfficialPage.

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