Joshua Clottey is an ecstatic man these days. Since conquering Zab Judah last August for the vacant IBF Welterweight title, the powerful warrior from Ghana has had to wait and wait and wait – for the chance to defend his title. You see, fights kept falling through, for one reason or another, dates with Paul Williams, Andre Berto, Antonio Margarito could not be made. But, suddenly, in the span of about 24 hours, everything has changed for Joshua Clottey.
“I’m happy. At the Cotto-Jennings fight, my promoter (Bob Arum) said they want me to fight Cotto in June at Madison Square Garden. So they are waiting for Cotto to say, Yes. And then it’s on.”
With their all-action styles, Cotto vs Clottey will undoubtedly be a fantastic IBF/WBO unification battle. Both scored important and impressive wins against Zab Judah and battled Antonio Margarito on just about even terms. So I asked Clottey why he believes he has the edge and will defeat Cotto? And how special and inspiring it would be to compete in a main event unification match at the mecca of boxing Madison Square Garden?
“Yes, its a good match up, I have the edge to beat him because I can take his punches but I dont think he can take mine,” Clottey said on Monday night, two nights after Cotto won his WBO belt. “It will be fantastic to unify the belts in Madison Square Garden and its means a lot to me because it’s New York where my people Ghanaians will come and watch me fighting at the Madison Square Garden.”
Just a week ago, Clottey was so distraught over the politics of boxing and inability of his team to produce a world title defense for him, that he was seriously considering retiring from boxing to take up his other passion – soccer. Clottey has devoted most of his life to boxing and is at the peak of his powers now. He vehemently desires to achieve much more success and wealth – so he can share it with his family and other dependents back home in Ghana.
Now after sitting at ringside for Cotto vs. Jennings at Madison Square Garden, and learning from Arum that a unification with Cotto appears to be very close to reality, Clottey sounds like a re-born man. “I will not quit boxing. Because my fans encourage me so much I want to thank them and I will always make them happy when I’m fighting.”