Exclusive Interview: Joshua Clottey Speaks On Mosley, Martinez, Cintron, Pacquiao, and more!
By Vivek Wallace - Editor's Note: The welterweight division is arguably one of, if not thee deepest division in the sport. With all of the highly notables fighting for supremacy, there's one name in particular that has the potential, yet some would argue his presence has yet to be truly felt. Some call it a fault of politics, others simply view it as a fault of his own. No matter what your perspective, few can deny his effort every time he laces up. With the return of Mayweather and a constantly changing landscape in the division, I had a chance to talk to Joshua Clottey and find out precisely where he feels he now stands. As you'll read, his response was truthful, introspective, and in spurts, down right shocking when you think of his past demeanor. Such has never been the case in the past, and after reading this 20 minute conversation, many will find out precisely what went wrong with the man so smooth in a world so rough. Unedited and uncut, here's what Mr. Joshua Clottey had to say:
Article posted on 01.10.2009
VW: Joshua, I know your plate is full so we'll jump right to it. Who's your next opponent and when can we expect to see you in the ring again?
JC: December 5th, on the undercard of the Pavlik/Williams fight. That's the target date.
VW: Do we have an idea who that opponent will be, considering that Mosley and a few others are on the table?
JC: Well, HBO wanted Shane Mosley and myself to fight on the undercard of the Pavlik/Williams card, in sort of a double-header, but to my understanding, he (Mosley) wants his own show. Maybe he's not ready. I just want to fight before the year ends. If it's him, that's fine, I'm ready to fight him. I have wanted to fight Shane Mosley since 2004 and he knows this. I don't think he really wants to face me.
VW: Well, seeing things full circle, I would say if anything, his promoter, Goldenboy Promotions, may not want that fight. Not saying that there's a fear factor there because Shane is as good as it gets, but lets be real here, anyone who knows boxing knows that Shane would catch hell-in-a-handbasket standing across from you. When you consider that he had a very uninspiring victory against Ricardo Mayorga, then was able to sustain a lifeline in credibility with his performance against Margarito, I just think the business logic there is that another close or not-so-solid victory takes him totally out of the Mayweather/Pacquiao sweepstakes, particularly when you consider that his phone still isn't ringing much since that spectactluar performance against Margarito. Do you think that plays a role in this whole decision to have him face someone else now?
JC: It may be true. Goldenboy and HBO control the whole scenario. I have a great promoter, but GBP and HBO control that show. Me, I'm a fighter. When Bob Arum calls my name, I'm ready to fight who ever they put in front of me. To be frank, I want him (Mosley) to know that he needs to stop crying to fight guys like Mayweather and Pacquiao. He's a big guy in the sport and everyone has tremendous respect for him. I have soooo much respect for him, and I see you do too. If I was in his position, I would never ever in my life cry to fight with someone and be that desperate. When they know you're desperate, you give them the chance to disrespect you, but when you keep your cool, they still see and they respect you more. He needs to keep fighting the best out there like Cotto has and that kind of fight will come for him too.
VW: Those are some very good points you raised, Josh. Switching gears, I want to address two other men who have recently shown interest in fighting you. One by one.....I'd like to start with Sergio Martinez first. What are your thoughts about him calling you out?
JC: You know, that makes me very upset. Martinez needs to shut the hell up because he's talking too much. He is a jr. middleweight fighter. I am at welterweight, and have never spoken about going up in weight because I'm comfortable where I am. We're in two separate divisions, why are you calling out my name? If he wants to come down to 147lbs, I will fight him anytime. Right now, my mission is to win and become a champion in this division, so he needs to focus on the champs in his division or come down where I am and face me or the champs in mine!
VW: Kermit Cintron....He's another one that has made a habit of calling your name lately, for whatever reason. What are your thoughts about that?
JC: Tell Cintron that I'm still waiting on him to sign the contract. We have a date open. He needs to stop running and take his track shoes off. When he signs the contract we can make the fight, and he knows that I am truly ready to fight him like I was before when he failed to fight me before his fight with Martinez.
VW: Now....Leading into the Cotto fight, I predicted that you would do enough to win, but it would be difficult to get the nod because the stars had clearly aligned in the sport for the Pacquiao/Cotto showdown which is actually about to take place. That leads me to my next point. In past fights, I think you've performed excellent, but nothing is perfect. If I had to give one critique on you, it would be that I don't think you're aggressive enough when it counts, and this is the one knock that every fan I speak to has about you. Why is that, Joshua?
JC: About the decision, anytime I face someone, I check to see who the judges are because it's tough to pour your heart out and come up short, and you don't forget that, but you move on. About the aggression, I love hearing from any fans that sit down and watch me fight. If people want to see me more aggressive, I have to honor that and they will see that more if this is what they think will help me. But, when I step in the ring, I don't fear anyone, I don't back up, and I bring the fight to all of my opponents. So it's not fear, it's intelligence.
VW: Ok, Champ, before we wrap up, there's three other things I want to touch on. First one being the return of Floyd Mayweather jr. I'm sure you saw his performance. What did you think of it?
JC: I think Mayweather looked fantastic. Everybody thought Marquez would do more because of how tough his fights were with Pacquiao, me included. Then, after the fact, everyone started saying that Marquez was the smaller man. Well, Marquez knew that before he signed the contract, so you can't take away from the man (Floyd). His ability is amazing. Everybody needs to give him his credit.
VW: OK, now, anytime you talk about Mayweather, somehow the name Pacquiao falls from the sky. (Laughs). Who do you like in his pending showdown with Miguel Cotto?
JC: I think that fight will come down to how well Pacquiao can take his power. If it is stopped early, I favor Cotto. If Pacquiao can use his speed effectively, he can win. Pacquiao is a smart fighter, but if you hit him, he will come back at you. I fought Cotto, and I knew if I threw a 3 punch combination, at least 2 landed, so Cotto can be hit, but he will also hit back. It will come down to how Pacquaio fights. If he tries to throw a lot of punches everytime, he could get hurt. If he punches and uses defense and footwork, he can win.
VW: OK, Pavlik/Williams....Williams is a guy who literally defines the P4P argument, going division to division seeking the best opposition and now, in the middleweight ranks, has found it. Who do you like between he and Pavlik?
JC: If Pavlik can't adapt to his punch volume, and find a way to land some [power and flush shots, he may lose. If he can find out a way to overcome the reach, and land his shots, he will win. It's a 50/50 fight to me.
VW: OK, Champ, in closing, what would you like to say to everyone out there, the floor is yours.
JC: I just want to thank everyone out there at Eastside Boxing. Eastside Boxing has always been great to me, and I love your work, and I read a lot of the others too. I also want to say thank you to everyone who has supported my career, and I want them to know, I will be back in the ring soon and nothing will stop me. Thank you.
(Eastside Boxing would like to thank Joshua Clottey and wish him the best in his future endeavors as he prepares to mark his place in a very deep division)
(Vivek Wallace can be reached at email@example.com, Youtube (VIVEK1251), Twitter (VIVEK747), Facebook, and Myspace).
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