Paul McCloskey apparently is out as a possible opponent for Amir Khan on April 16 in Manchester, England, according to the Belfast (Northern Ireland) Telegraph.
McCloskey rejected what he and his handlers considered a low-ball offer from Khan. The 140-pound titleholder from Bolton also couldn’t come to terms with his first choice, Lamont Peterson.
“The offer was a joke,” Hearn told the newspaper. “There’s no way I’m letting Paul fight for peanuts. They made the offer, I rejected it and as far as I can see the fight is dead. We’ll certainly not be going back to them to negotiate. If they were to come back with a proper offer then of course we would listen but as I expected they wanted to get Paul on the cheap. …
“Frankly, I don’t know who Khan is going to get to fight for the money he was offering Paul. Certainly Victor Ortiz wouldn’t and I don’t think any quality fighter would allow themselves to box for the money Paul was offered.”
Meanwhile, Khan’s representatives say prospective opponents are trying to use him as a “cash cow.”
“There are several opponents under discussion for Amir’s mandatory defense but they need to get realistic and not treat him like a cash cow,” Asif Ali, Khan’s business manager, told Telegraph Sport.
Added Shah Khan, the fighter’s father: “They get the chance of fighting Amir, and seem to think they can add a couple of noughts on the purse. I don’t know where they get the notion from that we are awash with money for his fights. McCloskey still holds on to his European title, win or lose, yet he has the chance to make his name if he can beat Amir. The same thing happened a couple of years ago with Jon Thaxton, and the fight never happened. Thaxton has since retired and never got the opportunity.”
So where will Khan turn now?
He could try to get Peterson or McCloskey back to the negotiating table or pursue someone else. John Murray of Manchester has been mentioned as a possibility. And there’s always Breidis Prescott, the only man to beat Khan. Prescott reportedly has been pushing for a second fight.