Amir Khan didn’t dazzle the home-country crowd Saturday but did what he had to do to set up a showdown with Timothy Bradley.
Khan won a sixth-round technical decision after Paul McCloskey was cut by an accidental head butt and couldn’t go on in the estimation of the ring doctor before a packed — and disappointed — house at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester, England.
The heads of Khan and McCloskey collided about two minutes into the sixth round, causing a bad cut on the inside of the Irishman’s left eyebrow.
The action was stopped at that point to allow the ring doctor to examine the cut and he decided McCloskey couldn’t continue, which sent the fight to the scorecards (including the partial sixth round).
Khan had some trouble with an awkward and resilient southpaw, who was difficult to hit cleanly, but was both too quick and too busy for McCloskey, winning all six rounds on all three cards.
“He took a lot of good shots,” Khan said in the ring afterward. “… And he kept coming forward. But I was winning on all cards. To be honest, it was easy. … If it would’ve gone on, Paul McCloskey would’ve got hurt badly.”
McCloskey (22-1, 12 knockouts) and his handlers believe he could’ve continued to fight and were livid that the fight was stopped. They appealed immediately for a rematch, but Khan has other plans.
Khan, the WBA 140-pound titleholder, and Bradley, who holds the WBC and WBO belts, have a tentative agreement to meet on July 23 to determine the best junior welterweight in the world.
The Briton was asked about the possibility of moving up to 147 but said that will wait.
“I want to unify the division first. I want to be the best in the 140-pound division,” he said.
Photo / Jed Wee-Cleva Medi-FightWireImages