Boxing


Exclusive Interview With Joshua Clottey - ďIím Going To Work My Way Back Up. I Want To Be A Two-Weight World ChampionĒ

CottoBy James Slater - Though he had an admittedly bad night against Pound-for-Pound king Manny Pacquiao back in March, former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey says it was primarily down to his being weakened due to making weight. Always huge for the 147-pound limit, the 33-year-old from Ghana is now planning on returning to the ring at 154-pounds, his ďnatural weight.Ē

Hoping to stay busy once he returns in the new year, the man with the 35-4(20) record says itís his dream to become a two-weight world champion.

Very kindly taking the time to speak with me yesterday evening UK time, ďThe Grand MasterĒ who lives in New York had the following things to say:


James Slater: As always itís a pleasure to be able to speak with you, Joshua. When can we expect to see you back in the ring? Are there any plans?

Joshua Clottey: I think I will be back in January. My promoters are busy now with this big fight [Pac-Man-Margarito], so I will let them get this out of the way first.

J.S: And will you move up in weight or will you stay at welterweight?

J.C: I will be moving up. Iím going to 154.

J.S: Your welterweight days are over then? You canít make 147 any more?

J.C: (laughs). No, I canít make 147 any longer.

J.S: You feel youíll be so much stronger at 154? You were always a big welterweight anyway.

J.C: Exactly. Making [welter] weight was a real problem for me. I will be able to mix it with the best at 154. I had to move up, to my natural weight.

J.S: Who are the names youíd like at 154?

J.C: Everybody knows I have unfinished business with Miguel Cotto, and with Antonio Margarito. Even if he loses [to Pacquiao] Iíd still really like to fight him. And I want Cotto again. Both are good fighters.

J.S: A rematch with Cotto would be very interesting, seeing as how very close the first fight between you was. You feel you can beat him at 154?

J.C: Yes, of course. I know I won the first fight, but they gave it to him. Iím not complaining. Everyone has to know I had big weight problems in the Manny Pacquiao fight. I had to take that fight as it was such a big chance, but I realise I was killing myself making weight. Iíll be more comfortable and effective at 154. Itís not like I donít want to throw punches; I was just so weak in the fight with Manny Pacquiao. But I will be able to throw lots of punches at my natural weight.

J.S: Will your next fight be in America?

J.C: Yes, of course, thatís where my promoters are. I canít wait to come back. Iím not making excuses, but a lot happens in boxing - and a lot happened in the Manny Pacquiao fight. I want to thank my supporters, and I know it will be so different at 154. I will do everything I can to become a champion at 154. My dream is to become a two-weight world champion.

J.S: Would a fight with Pacquiao, a rematch, be different at 154?

J.C: It would be different. Iíd be fighting at my weight and that would be in my advantage. I donít know whatís going to happen, but I would love to have a rematch.

J.S: Youíve fought both guys: who wins, Pacquiao or Margarito?

J.C: You know, in boxing there comes a time for a fighter when nobody can stop him. If Godís plan is for him to become the best, no-one can stop him. I donít see Margarito being able to beat Pacquiao unless God has decided that itís his time to go up again; that after all heís been through, he knows he made a mistake, and he deserves to be at the top again. Other than that, no, I donít see any way he can beat Manny Pacquiao.

J.S: Do you see a KO or a points win for Manny?

J.C: He has to respect Manny Pacquiaoís power. Pacquiao can pick a punch, Iím telling you the truth. He canít think he can jump on Pacquiao just because heís too big for him. Margarito has no defence, heís easy to hit. Heíll hit Margarito a lot. If Margarito goes out with a do-or-die approach, heíll [Pac-Man] hurt him crazy. But if he takes his time, it could be a different story.

J.S: Getting back to you, can we expect a busy year for Joshua Clottey in 2011?

J.C: Of course. I only had two fights this year, because I thought everything with the Pacquiao fight would work out on my side. But I had a different trainer in that fight (Lenny DeJesus worked Clotteyís corner in the March fight, standing in for his regular trainer from Ghana) and lots of things fell through for me. Now Iím looking at working my way back up.

J.S: Well, thanks so much for your time. We look forward to seeing you back in action in the new year.

J.C: Okay, thank you.

Article posted on 09.11.2010



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