Joshua Clottey has been waiting for the BIG fight for a long time. Now it’s here, finally, at the age of 31, boxing Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden. Will Clottey become overwhelmed and tense up on the grand stage and fight under his capabilities? Or will he seize the moment and put on a superstar performance in his first time boxing in the main event at the Mecca of Boxing? See if you can tell by what Joshua Clottey has to say about his big chance.
One thing is for sure, you won’t find a more likeable champion, or a more openly sincere one:
“If it’s not Cotto here, its gonna feel like a small show. Cotto gave me the very big stage. So I respect him and will respect him forever.”
“I don’t know how hard the pace is going to be. I don’t know how he’s going to fight. But if he’s gonna show like he did with Margarito, then he’s got a problem. Because I don’t take punches to my face. I take punches to my hands (he goes into his defensive stance and touches his hands and forearms). And I hit. So if I take those punches to my hands, he’s gonna get weak. Because he knows I’m blocking his punches and I’m hitting him back with the right one. If he hits me a thousand times and I hit him 500, he’s gonna have a problem. Because the same pace he used with Margarito – but Margarito only take three rounds – he took the sixth, ninth round and 11. And he won the fight. Margarito only took three rounds and he knock him. It depends on how much he gonna take.”
“I don’t have a gameplan, I’m ready for anything. I’m Joshua Clottey.”
“If I hit him I don’t know the way he’s gonna take it. if I hit him and he’s still standing, then I have a very tall fight to go ahead. If I hit him and he’s standing then I have a lot of problems. If I hit him and he’s going away, then it’s my game.”
“I don’t have any bad things about him (concerns) than good things. He’s a good fighter. The moves. I don’t know about his body. I think much about going to the body. That’s the thing, if I go to the body and he’s taking them easy, I got a problem, to think about a different thing. But, for me, it’s a very, very nice fight.”
Key to win? “You know…you don’t know. But I think going to the body is a key to me. I do all them punches are keys to me. My uppercuts are good, I have very good uppercut, left uppercut, I have a body shot, I have a lot of things. If he’s gonna take all of those things, then I have a long way to go.”
You get along well with Miguel, two nice guys, two gentleman, is there anything you dislike about him?
“No, no, no, no, no. You know, I love Cotto, I love Pacquiao, because they never talk trash. I don’t like talking trash, so I respect Cotto a lot. Because all the time he’s fighting, he says he’s gonna do his best to win. That’s good to the opponent too. That means he respects the opponent. So I love him the way he’s talking. I respect that he talks nice, that he doesn’t insult people, that he don’t say trash things. I love him.”
Is it hard to fight a guy you like and respect so much?
“Sometimes I felt some thing inside me (touches heart) if, like, I’m hitting somebody, that is getting hit…but if you don’t finish the job, the job will finish you. Like I said, I like him. There is no way…I can’t fight without trying to take his heart. We have to do that. There’s no way we can’t do that. After the fight we’ll shake hands and hug each other. But I really, really like him.”
“I think he’s gonna go around (move a lot), the pace he’s gonna do. If he’s gonna do that pace, then he’s gonna have to do that pace. But I don’t believe he can sustain it. I think he’s gonna go around – and I will chase him.”
“Don’t you think if he stays and fights me, it’s gonna be a problem? If he stay there for us to fight, it’s gonna be a very, very big problem. Because I would love for him to stay there, he’s gonna hit my body, I’m gonna hit his body. I’m gonna go to his head, he’s gonna go to my head. So at the end of 12 rounds we are going to see a wild fight. But I think the way he got in with Margarito, he’s gonna move around (with me).”
“Because one thing I was thinking about – I’m very, very much sure – I don’t know – but I’m sure if he lost this, he’s gonna stop the game. That is what I was thinking. He achieved what he want to achieve in the game. So some people – when they take some beatings – it’s very good for him to come out (retire), decide to come out. Because when I was coming to America, I said, If I come here and get like serious beatings for five times, I will stop. I never get any of that. So I’m still waiting for that fight. If maybe I get knocked out – my head is going – if I get like two or three, I will just put it off.”
“I think if he loses, he will have a problem getting back to fight. If he did good by beating me, I think he will come and fight again.”
“I have to win, I need to win.”
“Cotto, this is what I pray to God, Cotto has achieved what he wanted to achieve. This is the fight for you to give it to me. Because if I beat him today, tomorrow I’m gonna get more.”
“I like him so much, he’s given me the life, the chance. I respect him so much.”
“I promise you a clean fight and a win.”