Joshua Clottey: “I Know I’m Gonna Win”


Joshua Clottey is clearly joyful that he has finally arrived to the big time in professional sports at age 31. Even though the man standing in his way now is the mighty Miguel Cotto, Clottey doesn’t seem to care. It’s as if the man from Ghana is utterly doubtless of his abilities and he will prevail against the Puerto Rican blockbuster on June 13 at Madison Square Garden.

From the moment he arrived at the press conference last week, Clottey was in a genuinely ecstatic mood. Nothing could wipe the smile off his face, it was fascinating how naturally assured Clottey seems to be. There was no arrogance or prepared-in-advance messages for Cotto, just natural free-style confidence. Clottey is so certain of his chances that he even offered some free strategic advice for Cotto and on top of that he’s even looking ahead to future battles after Cotto!

Here are some of the words spoken by Joshua Clottey in New York last week:

“I’m very excited about this fight. And I’m going to do something about it.”

“Well, (a win over Cotto) is going to do a lot to me. Because that would knock at everyone’s door, especially Shane Mosley. I’m going into this fight to win because I’m thinking about Shane Mosley next.”

“I would love to fight Mayweather but I know right now I’m thinking about this one – which I know I’m gonna to win and represent. And after that I will think about it. But I want to fight everybody.”

I asked Clottey why he knows he is going to win this one? “Well, because I know Miguel Cotto and I know how he fights. And I’m not going to request for his fight tapes to watch. I know I don’t have to watch his tapes. I have time to go in the ring and fight with him. And I know how to adjust myself in the ring. It’s going to be a very nice fight. I know he’s gonna hit me. I can take his punches. I don’t know about him taking mine. That is the problem. So I’m going to work myself out for this fight.”

“About his problem (with uncle and trainer Evangelista), I’m sorry about it. But I’m not worrying about it, I swear. Because this is boxing. He has been in the ring many times, he knows how to settle his problems. And he know that getting in the ring and thinking about his problems is going to hurt him. So I’m very, very professional and sure that he’s not going to think about it. So I’m not worried about it.”

“I want a rematch (with Margarito) very badly. I want to fight all the guys. Paul Williams keeps saying that Nobody want to fight me, he’s being avoided. I never avoided him before, I’ve been calling him. He don’t want to fight me.”

“I have to be frank with you. This is the opportunity whereby I will never allow anything to slip away from me, even if I hurt my hand, I will still fight. I really want to fight this guy. Because I want the welterweights to fight me. Not this boxing – you can’t avoid people and fight people that you choose. This is real opportunity for the people to fight me.”

“I know Cotto already build his fans. His people always support boxing. But my people, they know boxing not too much. Now I’m gonna draw them to the fight. So I’m gonna do that job too (of proving himself as an attraction).”

“I know he’s a good fighter. But daring to fight me in the southpaw stance is going to hurt him. Because I’m good and I know how to with southpaws. I never lost to a southpaw before. So I don’t have a problem with that thing. I have the problem with Cotto coming to the ring and fighting, that’s all.”

“In his last fight (vs Jennings) he was very cool in the ring. And I don’t know how he’s coming to fight with me. But if he’s going to run like (against) Margarito it’s going to be a problem because I would not allow him to run away from me. And I don’t know how he’s coming to fight, whether he’s gonna stand in fight to trade punches. I don’t know until we get there. But I’m going to be ready for anything that he brings.”

“I’m so happy and I’m so – I can’t believe it that he accept the fight. Trust me, I’m really, really happy and I respect him for that.”

“The reason why I’m going into this fight is because fights with him will open every door for the welterweights to fight me. So it’s good that I’m going into this fight. And after that everybody will fight me. I’m going to do everything I can. And I’m not a boring fighter. I am ready to fight with Cotto.”

“To me, he looks a little bit relaxed (vs Jennings). And I don’t think it’s good for him to fight with me like that. If he’s coming to me to fight Jennings, it’s no good for him.”

“Boxing is about skills, boxing is about heart. I don’t respect skills in boxing. I respect heart. If you got heart, go to the 12 rounds. Stay there and fight, even if worse comes to the worse, you still be there. It’s what I call boxing. Not about skills. Skills have nothing to do with boxing. Because you got skills and you don’t got a heart, you always gonna stop there, 4-5 rounds, you out. I respect about the heart. If you can stay there, take the punches, hit back, that’s what I respect.”

Whew. That’s what you call confidence. Or is it possibly bordering on overconfidence? It’s going to be a very interesting night on June 12 at Madison Square Garden…

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