Exclusive Interview With Joshua Clottey

clottey24.03.07 - By James Slater: Ghanaian born Bronx native, Joshua "The Hitter" Clottey is preparing for yet another big fight. Last time out he proved he was both lacking fear by facing the oft-avoided Antonio Margarito, as well as proving he was very much in the WBO champion's class level with his spirited twelve rounds points loss. A damaged left hand hindered his chances, yet the thirty year old still managed to hang tough right until the final bell. His performance drew both notice and praise as a result. Next up for Joshua is a fight with the boxing warrior that is Diego "Chico" Corrales. Currently in training for the April 7th bout, Clottey very kindly gave this writer the following interview.

James Slater: Firstly, Joshua, how are preparations going for the Corrales fight?

Joshua Clottey: Everything is going fine. My left hand is okay, and my right hand is okay. Everything has gone well.

J.S: You are the natural welterweight, will you be looking to KO Corrales on April 7th?

J.C: Boxing is boxing, anything can happen. If I hit him right he will go down, but I can't really say if I'll get a knockout or not. If it comes, it comes.

J.S: Do you think Diego has made a mistake in moving up in weight to face you?

J.C: I think he has made a mistake. He knows his body, of course, but I can't see why he would want to move up two weight classes. I think it's too high for him. I will definitely be too big for him.

J.S: Diego is the same height as Antonio Margarito, will you fight Chico the same way as you did him?

J.C: Definitely I will use the same style. When I get in the ring, if Diego moves I will chase him. If he stands still, I will fight him there. Whatever happens, happens. I know Diego goes down (in fights).

J.S: What are your recollections of your fight with Margarito?

J.C: I wanted that fight for a very long time, ever since I was living in Africa. He's (Margarito) just the same as any other fighter, earning a living from boxing. When I was offered that fight I said yes straight away. I felt my hand go at the end of the fourth round. It wasn't broken, but they told me at the hospital later that it had a stress fracture. I would like to fight Margarito again, to avenge my loss. I know he can't change his defensive shortcomings.

J.S: Is he the toughest guy you've fought?

J.C: No, no. The toughest guy I've fought is Richard Gutierrez. I couldn't walk after that fight, my ribs were so hurt. I had to be carried out. I was sore for three weeks after that fight. I weighed-in at 145 pounds. I was too light at the weigh-in. I have great respect for that fight.

J.S: Assuming you beat Corrales, who would you like to fight after that?

J.C: I will never reject any opponent, trust me. I will fight anyone. As long as they are in the same weight class, I will never reject any opponent. I want my day to come, I'm waiting for the call (for a big world title fight).

J.S: Do you think you're at your peak now, at thirty?

J.C: Yeah. I've been fighting good guys for a long time now. When I was back in Africa I was fighting tough fighters. It is my time to shine now.

J.S: As you know, De La Hoya and Mayweather are fighting soon. Can you pick a winner?

J.C: They are both good boxers. Oscar won't sit down for that fight, no way. It will be a very exciting fight. I can't really pick a winner, it's fifty-fifty.

J.S: Would you fight the winner, at 147?

J.C: Like I said, I will never reject any opponent. If the call came for me to fight the winner I would take the fight straight away.

J.S: I appreciate your time, Joshua. For my final question, do you have a prediction for the Corrales fight?

J.C: I can't say for sure I'm going to get a knockout. I'm not going to put that in my head. I've stopped thinking about knockouts, that way there is no pressure on my hand, or on myself. When the hand got injured in the Margarito fight it was because it was tired. I rested it for two months. But like I said, I know Diego goes down in fights.

J.S: Well, best of luck for the 7th, and thank you for your time.

J.C: Okay, bye.

Article posted on 25.03.2007

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