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Paul McCloskey fought to a unanimous decision last night in a fight that many feel his opponent, Breidis Prescott, won. Claims of a “hometown victory” were bandied around the interweb when, after twelve rounds that Prescott got the best of, the referee raised McCloskey's arm in the air. 

Both men had something to prove going into this fight (for the full McCloskey vs Prescott fight preview go here). McCloskey (23-1  12KOs) was looking to avenge what he feels was a humiliating defeat to Amir Khan this April. 'Dudey' was soundly beaten by the Bolton-born Khan, and in the press conference after the fight Khan further rubbed in the humiliation when he refused any chance of a rematch. McCloskey and his team have held a grudge ever since that fight.

With a McCloskey - Khan rematch off the table, the Irishman decided to”go one better”, as his promoter Eddie Hearn put it. Instead of fighting Khan, he would fight the only man to ever beat him professionally, Colombian light welterweight Breidis Prescott (24-3  19KOs).

Prescott's famous win over Khan has not done him any favours. Firstly, many called it a fluke. With the speed in which he did it, the way Khan walked right into Prescott's punches, many feel it was a lucky win. Understandably, this hurt Prescott because he beat Khan easily, and he knows it was not a fluke. Going into his fight with McCloskey, Prescott had something to prove.

McCloskey and Prescott come out fighting
The boxing match itself was an exciting back and forth affair and despite the Klitschko- Adamek bout on offer that same night, it was the best fight of the evening. Both men entered the ring with hunger in their eyes, but in the early rounds it was Prescott who got the better of it. He had a better work-rate than the Irishman and he was able to land way more than we would expect in a fight with Paul McCloskey. A surprise came at the end of round one, when McCloskey slipped and was given a standing eight count. This was about as controversial as GM foods, because the only punch coming from Prescott was on the back of McCloskey's head, and more than anything he lost his balance. 

The next few rounds went Prescott's way, and the massive Belfast crowd were forced to raise the volume of their chanting in a bid to get their man back into it. McCloskey responded with a solid round four where he was the more active fighter, but then Prescott took complete control over rounds five, six and seven. It looked like it was over for Dudey, but we were about to see one of the greatest comebacks in years.

McCloskey wakes up
He came out in round eight knowing he needed something special to get back into the fight, and he provided just that. He dominate the round, chasing a tiring Prescott around the ring and landing his jab whenever he chose to. Prescott's arms hung low, the effort of winning the earlier rounds having drained his energy.

The crowd's excitement built up as McCloskey clearly won rounds nine, ten and eleven. When the bell rang for the final three minutes, many had the bout scored in such away that McCloskey needed to win the last round just to draw. He knew what was at risk and showed he keeps a tremendous reserve of energy when he went for Prescott from the off. The only problem was, his left glove came loose and he was ordered by the referee to adjust it. The atmosphere and tension started to die-out, and Dudey's men frantically fixed the tape round his wrist. Finally, they were ready to fight again. McCloskey approached his man, summoning the determination once more, only to have his right glove come loose. The fight was drained out of him.

Prescott managed to get the best of the final few minutes, though McCloskey certainly tried. Despite looking like someone with heavy asthma for the last four rounds, the Columbian was able to pull energy from somewhere and landed more punches than his rival. When the bell went, he collapsed to his knees, his arms stretched in the air in celebration.

McCloskey vs Prescott – the scores
At this point, I had the fight scored 115 – 112 in Prescott's favour, giving McCloskey rounds four, eight, nine, ten and elven. Hearing the final scores though, it seems the judges watched a different fight. They scored it 114-113, 115-113 and 114-113 all in McCloskey's favour. Despite the Irishman's amazing comeback, it looked like Prescott had the better of the fight and following this result he has a right to feel aggrieved.

The Columbian will have a tough time deciding what to do next. This fight was a WBA world title eliminator, and losing it will set back Prescott's boxing career greatly. No doubt an appeal will be churning over in his mind. Even if he has the support of the majority, there is no real point in such an appeal. They rarely go the way they should, and the stress of it can take its toll on a fighter's career. Prescott needs to make his appeal in the ring, by knocking a top-ten opponent onto the canvas.

McCloskey, on the otherhand, now has the light welterweight division at his feet. His next fight will be against another power puncher, Marcos Maidana, for the WBA World Light Welterweight Title. If he wins this, and it will be a much more difficult fight, then McCloskey could legitimately class himself as one of the best of his division.