Thursday, January 28, 2010
Joshua Clottey exemplifies the right way to land a superfight
When Joshua Clottey was announced to do what Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been reluctant on doing, which is to fight Manny Pacquiao on March 13, my initial reaction was to say "Wow!".
I could not believe Pacquiao decided to fight such a big threat like Clottey especially when the biggest payday in boxing history is just around the corner.
A loss to Clottey would definitely cost him billions in his local currency and several million dollars.
Pacquiao could've opted for an easier opponent like Paulie Malignaggi, Nate Campbell, Edwin Valero, Juan Manuel Marquez or all these other names that have thrown themselves in the Manny Pacquiao sweepstakes. Each of those names I mentioned would've been quick work for someone in Clottey's caliber.
Many among my peers in boxing even consider Clottey as a bigger threat than Mayweather. Our Boxing Odds Examiner and co-host of the highly popular Boxing Truth radio show John Chavez says the Dallas showdown between Pacquiao and Clottey is great for boxing as it matches not only two names, but two real fighters in a real city. He also told me back when first news broke of the Pac-Clottey clash that Clottey's defense may even be tougher than Mayweather and he does not see one significant area where Clottey isn't better than 'Money'. I, 95% agree. The last 5% Floyd beats Clottey in is self-promotion. Mayweather can talk up a storm and sell bibles to an atheist.
With that said however, Clottey is a throwback Cinderella man type of fighter. The reason why a lot of people were surprised his name was called up to take Money's place is because outside boxing fans who have been following the sport closely, Clottey is a virtual unknown. Clottey took on all comers and was never dominated in any shape or form. Loaded or not, he almost beat Margarito back when the Mexican was a feared man. And if he only let his hands go in the final few rounds against Cotto, he very well could've won that one too. Physically, Clottey is the truth. He has come in the ring at 170 on fight night before and is definitely the biggest and strongest Pacquiao opponent to date. As unlikely his selection seemed, it was also actually a great decision.
Clottey earned the right to fight Pacquiao. He earned it through hard work and by gaining the respect of many within boxing- not by trash talking or over-hyping himself through the media and disrespecting people around him. This historic fight at Dallas stadium could not have been given to a worthier challenger. Clottey is a former welterweight champion and is a number one welterweight contender. Mosley was scheduled to fight Berto then and Money was busy kicking the Neveda desert sand.
This is Clottey's chance of a lifetime. If he is tough and rugged enough as it is, the motivation of beating the biggest name in boxing and the promise of fame and riches that it brings can only motivate him and make him that more dangerous. You got to remember, Dela Hoya, Hatton, Cotto, Mosley and Mayweather have tasted superstardom before. Clottey on the other hand has always had to peek in from the outside.
Don't ever estimate a man's hunger and desire to fulfill his dream. Clottey is no sacrificial lamb and will not lay down for anyone. If anything, his record is proof of it. Don't expect a Pacquiao knockout win, but do expect Clottey to go for the win or go down trying.
Author: Dennis "dSource" Guillermo