Paul McCloskey returned to Northern Ireland after his controversial stoppage loss against Amir Khan on Saturday in Manchester and was welcomed back to his home of Dungiven as an hero by the towns residents.

‘Cheated not Defeated’ The banner read that was being held up by McCloskeys fans, to relay their disappointment and McCloskey’s at what they believe was a premature stoppage of there man in his word title challenge.

Paul McCloskey

The cut suffered in round six by McCloskey, didn’t appear to be worthy of stopping a title fight. But in the aftermath of the decision to do so, McCloskeys stock and profile has risen within the game and he now hopes that after a family holiday in America, he can return to secure another world title shot and possible rematch with Khan.

McCloskey despite the loss, has been able to take many positives from it and can surely come back a better fighter from the experience. Although an instant rematch with Khan looks unlikely anytime soon, with the champion set to have his next four fights States side, McCloskey may look to get a shot a the IBF champion Zab Judah.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, McCloskey admitted he was still “bemused and bewildered” by the decision and added: “I have to say I was feeling really down about what happened.

“But when I look around me at these crowds of people it makes me proud to be here now, and to be from here.

“It really has given me a lift, this is absolutely fantastic but there is still unfinished business between me and Khan.

“Obviously I couldn’t see the cut so I couldn’t say whether it was right or wrong, but by the way they were going on about it you would have thought the whole of my head was off, so I couldn’t believe it when I eventually saw it.

“I will certainly be back training and looking for a rematch very soon.

“But right now my immediate plan is to go on holiday with my wife and family.”
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