IBF #1 ranked Welterweight contender Joshua Clottey let Boxinginsider.com watch his 15-round sparring session on Friday afternoon at the Fernwood Resort in Bushkill, PA. Clottey appears in spectacularly sharp condition, barely opening his mouth to breath through the “championship rounds” of the workout with Kenny Abril. The beautiful, upbeat, happy African music of Ofo Ri played throughout in the upstairs boxing facility which has been used by the likes of Tim Witherspoon, Kassim Ouma, among many others.
After the sparring, Clottey jumped rope for about 10 minutes and then did a long series of different runs, hops and sideskips around the ring as his cool-down. The only witnesses were Clottey’s brother Manuel, trainer Kwame Asante and Jose De Leon (former Cruiserweight champ Carlos De Leon’s brother) who was with Abril. When the day’s work was finished, Mr. Clottey spoke with Boxinginsider.com just two weeks before his showdown with Zab Judah for the vacant IBF Welterweight title about his training regimen. Clearly, as you are about to read, this class man has the love and passion for the sport, with all the required personality and style qualities of a world champion…
Boxinginsider: Do you do long runs or sprints?
Clottey: “I love, I love sprinting. I run from my place where I live, Bronx, 167th Street to Tracey Towers 244th Street. So when I get there and I’m coming home, I’m not jogging anymore. I sprint one block, walk one block, sprint one block, walk one block. So ever time, I’m in shape. It’s almost 12 miles.”
Boxinginsider: How much sparring to do you for a 12 round fight?
Clottey: “I love making 12 if I can get the people. But if I make 10, if I make 8, I’m okay. Because I’ll do other stuff. You know, one thing about other people, when they come to the gym, they might waste time wrapping hands, doing like this (stretching) and things. I don’t like that. If I come to the gym, if one hour – all (work). If two hours – all. 12 minutes – I’m out. I don’t want to do this stuff so I can (stay) like two hours in the gym training only one hour. I don’t like people wrapping my hands. I want to do my own – quick, quick.”
Boxinginsider: Do you lift weights?
Clottey: “No, no, no, I never do that. I don’t like it, doing that weight-lifting, no.”
Boxinginsider: Do you ever skip or miss workouts? If so, why?
Clottey: “Oh, no, no, no. I love training. Trust me. One thing about me, I love fighting. I don’t want to have the crowd…if I’m – I know how to stand and jab – if you move I can jab. I feel like the crowd will start booing. I have to go in there and fight. I looooooove fighting. One thing that is the key to that is I always love training. I love to. And I never drink before, no alcohol in my life, no smoke, nothing. I love training. And I never trash talk, I don’t like to trash talk. I like to be friends with all the other boxers.”
Boxinginsider: Do you have any unusual training habits? Such as Dmitri Salita told me his old trainer used to have him spar two people at once.
Clottey: “Well, nothing like that. My jogging is the best thing in my life. Wake up in the morning and jog. Come to the gym and train my ass off. Be fit, make myself fit. Feel like a man. Because when you get to the ring and you start to get tired, it’s very bad.”
Boxinginsider: How important is pad work in your preparation?
Clottey: “To make me speed – I love padwork. Because it make you speed. It’s like sparring. When you make the padwork speed, like my trainer. When he held the pads for you he’s not gonna let you rest. The three rounds is like six. I love padwork. It makes me speed and all kind like that. Sharpening, everything.”
Stay tuned for more “Training Routine” features and the Joshua Clottey Biofile coming soon!