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Amir Khan agrees title defence against Paul McCloskey

Khan eager for homecoming bout with McCloskey

Amir Khan will defend his WBA light-welterweight title against Northern Irishman Paul McCloskey.

Negotiations between the Khan and McCloskey camps broke down two weeks ago but the bout is now set to go ahead at Manchester's MEN Arena on 16 April.

"He [McCloskey] is meant to be a great fighter, undefeated and European champion," said Khan, 24.

"It's going to be a big night for me. He'll be fighting for a world title. I'm giving him that chance."

McCloskey's manager Francie McNicholl confirmed to BBC Sport that contracts had been signed.

I am absolutely confident that I will be world champion

Paul McCloskey

The McCloskey camp had been unhappy at the financial terms being offered to their fighter but McNicholl said that the Irishman had been given "an improved deal".

"All contracts were signed late on Saturday night," added McNicholl.

"After receiving the improved offer, we are now delighted that the fight is going to happen."

McCloskey, 31, described the fight as the "massive opportunity I have been waiting for all my career".

"I'm thrilled for the many fans who will be able to travel over to Manchester for the fight," he continued. "I am absolutely confident that I will be world champion."

The two fighters met at a media conference in Manchester on Tuesday with a further get-together planned for Belfast on Wednesday.

"Paul's very dangerous," said Khan. "He's unbeaten and he's got a good knock-out record.

McCloskey says he can stun Khan

"He's never tasted defeat. I'm sure he's going to try to take this opportunity with both hands," added the champion.

McCloskey, who is from County Londonderry, said: "I'm here by right. I've done it the traditional way, by becoming British and European Champion.

"Anything can happen on the night. One punch can end a fight."

McCloskey won the European belt in November 2009 with a ninth-round stoppage of Daniel Rasilla and defended the title twice last year to take his unbeaten record to 22 fights.

Khan has stated that his ambition is to unify the division and he hopes to fight WBO champion Timothy Bradley later this year.

see also
Bradley eyes Khan after victory
30 Jan 11 |  Boxing
Khan-McCloskey fight called off
27 Jan 11 |  Boxing
Khan looks set to face McCloskey
26 Jan 11 |  Boxing
Khan-McCloskey fight 'can happen'
20 Jan 11 |  Boxing
McCloskey 'close' to Khan contest
14 Jan 11 |  Northern Ireland
Khan 'happy' to fight McCloskey
14 Jan 11 |  Boxing
McCloskey may be set for Khan bid
13 Jan 11 |  Boxing
Khan targeting unification fight
17 Dec 10 |  Boxing
Champion Khan wins Vegas thriller
12 Dec 10 |  Boxing

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