Paul McCloskey will face a tough Mexican in Belfast on May 5.
It was confirmed yesterday after weeks of false dawns that ‘Dudey’ will face former IBF world lightweight champion Julio Diaz at the King’s Hall.
Diaz will not be an easy touch as he held the IBF belt in 2004 and 2007, but he has lost four of his last eight fights.
But McCloskey has not fought since beating Breidis Prescott last September and the Dungiven fighter says he will be glad to get back to doing what he does best.
“It is great the fight has been agreed and Diaz has signed up the fight.
“It has been very frustrating as no-one wanted to fight me and we asked numerous people. We spoke to Zab Judah and Paul Malignaggi and none of them wanted the fight.
“The fight against Prescott was a World title eliminator, but that has not happened, so I just have to get on with it,” added McCloskey.
And McCloskey says he will have to take a closer look at the guy he will be facing in May.
“I don’t know that much about him. He has been a World Champion, so he can box. I looked at his record and he can box a bit and punch a bit, so we will have to wait and see, but thankfully he took the fight.”
Reports had suggested that McCloskey would face the unheralded former Premiership footballer Curtis Woodhouse and he admits a deal was nearly made.
“We had asked loads of fighters if they fancied it and they said ‘no.’
“What am I to do, sit in the house and watch television? We asked Woodhouse and he was up for it, so we looked at it. I just wanted a fight but I have to say the reaction I have got for the news about the Diaz fight has been good and the fans seem to be looking forward to it,” he added.
And McCloskey also admitted that his training camp may have to revert back to Dungiven for a special reason.
“I have been training away in Belfast but my wife is expecting our next child in a few weeks.
“So I will want to go home and spend a week or so near to the family. My trainer John Breen will travel down to Dungiven and with me in my local gym. But no matter what I will be ready for May 5.”
The King’s Hall that night will also host Prizefighter as the Irish middleweights get it on, with Eamonn O’Kane, EBA champ Anthony Fitzgerald, Mark Heffron, Joe Rea, and Darren Cruise the first named confirmed by show promoter Eddie Hearn.
“If you imagine the best Prizefighter to date, then crank it off the dial.
“I still don’t think you are close to what we are about to witness on May 5,” said Hearn.