Hearn reveals plan for three massive shows in Belfast in 2012
Paul McCloskey, Martin Lindsay and the line-up for the Betfair Prizefighter all-Irish Middleweights are ready for their huge night at the King's Hall in Belfast on May 5 – and promoter Eddie Hearn said it's the first of three big nights of boxing in Belfast for Matchroom Sport in 2012.
McCloskey headlines the bumper night of action live on Sky Sports against two-time World champion Julio Diaz and the former unbeaten European light welterweight king is gunning for a second World title shot this year after his promoter Eddie Hearn told Thursday's press conference that this triple header with Lindsay and the Betfair Prizefighter will be the first of three huge nights in the capital.
"It's a massive night for Belfast and one I'm proud to be involved in," said McCloskey. "I want to be fighting for World titles because I belong at World level, but I am not going to sit around and sulk – I need to be fighting and banging on the door of the World champions until they step up and face me, so battling the likes of a former two-time World champion in Julio Diaz keeps me right in the mix.
"The atmosphere on May 5 will be something very special – every fighter will have their own fans and it's going to be totally unique. I cannot remember the last time there was a buzz like this here for a big fight night."
McCloskey bounced back from his disappointment against Amir Khan with a gutsy win over Khan-nemesis Breidis Prescott in Belfast in September, and Hearn said the 31 year-old will be out again in the autumn after Commonwealth super bantamweight champion Carl Frampton gets a big summer date in his hometown.
"I am thrilled to be putting on this great night of boxing for the Belfast fans," said Hearn. "This is a great boxing city and the passion they have for the sport is one of the main reasons we are putting on this unique night with Paul, Martin and the Betfair Prizefighter. It's all about providing value for fight fans and by combining all three in one night we are delivering a huge night for Irish fight fans."
"In the summer, Carl Frampton will have a big show in Belfast and we are looking at the likes of Scott Quigg, Rendall Munroe and Kiko Martinez for that one. Then in September, Paul will be out again and I am working tooth and nail to get him another World title shot.
"I have to give great credit to Paul – I gave him over 20 possible names to fight on May 5 and he said yes to every one of them. It has been frustrating for the team but as Paul said, all he can keep doing is winning exciting fights and packing out venues and I know his shot will come."
Hearn also confirmed that former British champion Martin Lindsay will feature on all three cards as he makes his return to the ring from 15 months out in London on March 23 before kicking off the May 5 Belfast blockbuster.
"It's great to be back in the fold," said Lindsay. "I have been in training since December and I feel fantastic so I am confident I will hit the ground running. My absence from boxing has been because fights have fallen through, nothing more than that, so there's no reason why I cannot be in the mix for a British, Commonwealth or European title later in the year."
Tickets priced at £30 (unreserved), £40 (reserved balcony or unreserved floor), £60 (outer-ringside) and £100 (ringside) are available from Ticketmaster on 0844 277 4455 – UK/Northern Ireland customers, 0818 719 300 – Republic of Ireland customers and at www.ticketmaster.ie
VIP packages priced £150 are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com
Paul McCloskey's fans can also buy their tickets at the prices above from Eurospar Dungiven and any EuroXchange outlet.
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