Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey are on extremely good terms as they gear up for their March 13 showdown in Dallas. The two gentleman champions haven’t said a bad word about each other during all the pre-fight hype. I asked Clottey at his media workout in New York City on Thursday if there was anything he dislikes about his arch-rival?
“No, no. I don’t hold no grudge with any opponent. That’s how I am, I respect everybody I fight. I respect everybody here. That’s me. I know he’s a celebrity star – I don’t know anything about that. The only thing I know is I’m here and he’s here to take care of business. That’s what I expect. So I respect everybody. I respect him so, so, so, so much. The only fighter that disrespect me that I disrespect back was Zab Judah. But I respect everybody. When I Corrales, he was so nice. After we punch each other in the body and the head we still have to be like brothers.”
Clottey is a good-hearted, well liked friendly character who always has time for fans and media alike. Clottey is similar to Shane Mosley, Arturo Gatti, Tito Trinidad, universally liked by just about everyone associated with the sport. I ask Clottey, Is it hard to fight someone like Pacquiao with full intensity that he personally likes and respects so much? You and Cotto were very respectful to each other also.
Clottey replies, “After the fight Cotto don’t like to mingle, he don’t like to talk to people. It seems like he don’t want to be your friend. But Pacquiao is so nice. He even asked me (at one of the press conferences), Did you see my last fight? I said, Which fight? (He said) The Cotto fight? I said Yes. (He said) I beat him up for you [laughter]. I like that guy. I like him. But I want to beat him. I want to be the winner.”