By Terence Dooley
Dungiven's Paul McCloskey makes the step up from European to world level when he challenges Bolton's WBA light-welterweight titlist Amir Khan at Manchester's MEN Arena on April 16. However, the 22-0 (12) southpaw feels that he will rise to the occasion come fight night to rip the belt from Khan's grasp.
"I'm enjoying it. I'm happy, very happy, with the way my camp's gone," revealed the 31-year-old when speaking to Ed Robinson of Sky Sports. "Getting the attention gives me a buzz, too. I know what I'm capable of doing, I know what he's capable of doing, it is going to be a great fight. Speed is definitely a big thing for him. It will be a game of who does their job better first. If I can punish him and frustrate him I can do a job.
"Again he's been over in Philippines but not sparring that much with Manny [Pacquiao], he's been sparring with other southpaws. I never tell anyone anything about my tactics, sometimes I just fight off the cuff but obviously I'm going in there with a game plans - A, B and C. I feel I can out-box anybody, if I hit anyone I can hurt them. It is about landing the right shots at the right time. When I'm on my game no one can live with me."
Belfast's finest takes the support of an entire community into the ring with him for his first world title tilt; Dungiven's denizens have taken Duddy to their collect heart; Paul believes that he can draw on the energy of his fans if things get tough.
He said, "It is great for Dungiven, I've got something Amir hasn't got, the best supporters in the world. It is pressure but I enjoy what I do. It brings a lot of excitement and positivity to the community itself. I'm looking forward to it. I've always believed I'll be a world champion. I do believe I can beat him. I've trained so hard to get here and will do it. I would fight anybody, it is about becoming a world champion, the fact it is Amir Khan will be a bonus. Trust me, I plan to bring that belt home."
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