By Terence Dooley

British Light-welterweight champion Paul McCloskey faces his toughest challenge to date when he bids for the vacant EBU title against former world champion Souleymane M'baye.

Southpaw stylist McCloskey will travel to France, giving up home advantage as he tries to add a world class scalp to his glittering domestic slate.

Former WBA title holder M'baye, 34, was pushed all the way by current WBA champion Andrey Kotelnik in 2007, escaping with a draw after 12 tricky rounds.  Gavin Rees shocked the world by dethroning the lethargic M'baye in July of that year, his speed and work rate nicking the Frenchman's WBA crown from under his nose.  Rees was defeated in his first defence by the smart boxing Kotelnik.

M'baye beat Barrie Jones is his last fight, prior to that he lost an IBF title eliminator against Herman Ngoudjo, his staccato recent form suggesting that this could be the right time for McCloskey to face him.

Northern Ireland’s McCloskey, 29, is coming off impressive domestic wins over the likes of Colin Lynes and Dean Harrison, and he must be confident of his chances against the lazy boxing of M'baye.  M'baye, 'The Sensation', is less than sensational these days, and McCloskey, like Rees, has a decent workrate, he should be able to overcome the Frenchman.

The contest will take place in Levallois-Perret, France on July the 3rd.

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