Former IBF Welterweight champion Joshua Clottey shared some information about his March defeat to Manny Pacquiao, in an interview with Boxing News weekly magazine reporter Matt Christie.
Clottey says it wasn’t the real Joshua Clottey in the Cowboys Stadium ring that night against the Filippino wonder:
“There was an issue that went wrong with me, it happened that day (of fight). It wasn’t me in the ring because every minute I slowed down, meaning that there was just something wrong somewhere. I just couldn’t manage myself. I wasn’t there at all. I don’t know the reason why, because I was in the best shape I had ever been in.”
Visa issues prevented Clottey’s trainer Godwin Kotey from entering the USA to train Clottey but he says that was only “half” the problem:
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore because every time I think about it, I always feel so, so bad. If you watch my fight with Cotto, I just didn’t fight like that. The only thing I can remember is that as I approached the dressing room, my body shut down and my system shut down and I didn’t feel like fighting.”
It may sound like a bizarre comment but I have heard and read of many top boxers freezing in the big moment, when a huge crowd was in support of their opponent. The will of the people is a mystical, magical, inexplicable power that can undo even the best of fighters. One example of this is Foreman vs. Ali in Zaire.
Clottey made some insightful observations about the punching abilities of Pacquiao:
“Nobody has hurt me in the ring. He didn’t hurt me. He was certainly throwing a lot of punches but none of them were hurting me. He punches in concentration and he puts his punches together better than the other guys I fought. But no, I didn’t feel his punches.”
Clottey also says he would like a rematch with Pac-Man:
“Not for the money but to prove that wasn’t the real me the first time.”
Clottey, now 33, also said that if he can’t secure meaningful fights against the top guns at 154 – Cotto, Margarito, Williams, Martinez – he will stop boxing.
Source: Boxing News weekly magazine July 16 issue / www.boxingnewsonline.net