Exclusive Joshua Clottey Interview - "I Want A Fight With Kermit Cintron Bad!"

joshua clottey15.11.07 - By James Slater: Accra-born Brooklyn native, Joshua "The Hitter" Clottey is one win away from a world title fight with International Boxing Federation welterweight king Kermit Cintron. Clottey meets the unbeaten Shamone Alvarez on December 20th in a final eliminator for the IBF 147 pound championship and is convinced he will emerge victorious.

Clottey actually feels he has already done enough to have earned his big chance, and is non too thrilled to be boxing Alvarez. Desperate to get it on with Kermit Cintron, however, Joshua has no choice and so boxes the 24 year-old southpaw who is currently 19-0(11) in Las Vegas just before Christmas. Currently in training for the big fight, the 30 year-old with the 31-2(19) record kindly took time out earlier today to speak with this writer. Here is what Clottey had to say.

James Slater: It's great speaking with you, Joshua. For my first question, when will you start sparring for the Alvarez fight, and who with?

Joshua Clottey: I will start sparring next week. I want to spar with the top guys for this fight, but it's sometimes hard getting good sparring, as everyone wants paying. There is no money in this fight [with Alvarez].

J.S: What do you know about Alvarez, have you seen tapes of him?

J.C: I don't really know anything about him. I only think he is fighting me because this fight is an IBF eliminator. If it wasn't for that I don't think he'd be facing me. I will be too strong for him anyway. I am not ready to lose right now.

J.S: Assuming you do win, is it Kermit Cintron you've been told you will get next?

J.C: They say I will be his mandatory with this win, but I don't really know for sure - it's all politics in boxing sometimes. But I do want to face Cintron. Badly. I don't really even want this fight [with Alvarez] there's no money in it and I feel I've already earned my title fight.

J.S: What is it about Cintron that makes you feel you can beat him?

J.C: He's a big puncher, but he cannot fight going backwards. I know I can beat him. Ever since 2004, when I was with Lou DeBella, I have badly wanted a fight with Cintron. But he has been running from me for a long time. He doesn't want to take the risk of fighting me. It's not just Cintron I want to fight, though. I want ALL the top guys, but they just doesn't seem to want to fight me. Again, it's politics all the time.

J.S: I take it you'd love a return with Antonio Margarito?

J.C: Very, very much. I want that fight bad as well. But he doesn't want it - he told me so. When I was at the hospital after our first fight, getting my hand seen to, he told me he felt it would be better for us to go our separate ways now. He isn't interested in a rematch with me.

J.S: Even if that fight doesn't come off, there are certainly no shortage of other big fights in your division. Who do you think, aside from yourself, is the very best welterweight in the world right now?

J.C: I'd say Miguel Cotto. He's a real fighter, who is willing to fight anyone. Every time he gets in the ring he gives his best, and it seems he is willing to die in the ring. That's what I like about him. Sooner or later you have to find something you will give your whole life to. But Floyd Mayweather is probably the smartest fighter out there.

J.S: And who wins out of Mayweather and Ricky Hatton in your opinion?

J.C: It looks like a Mayweather win for me. I think it's a very competitive fight, but I just can't see Hatton winning. Floyd is too smart for Ricky's tactics and aggression. There's no way Floyd will stand for Hatton's holding and hitting in this fight. Floyd talks a lot, but he is a great fighter in the ring.

J.S: Obviously, you'd jump right at a fight with him?

J.C: As I said, I want to face all the big names out there. I want to win a world title and make enough defences of it to be able to retire as a great boxer. But it annoys me when the top fighters won't face me.

J.S: If and when you do finally become champion, will you then stay at welterweight, or will you move up?

J.C: I will move up to 154. I am a big welterweight and it's not easy making 147. My legs are very big, for example, and I have to work very hard to make weight. So I will be moving up. But I want to become a world champion at welterweight before going up.

J.S: Well, I wish you well with your career. You have certainly earned a world title shot by now. For my final question, do you have any prediction for the Alvarez fight?

J.C: I want a KO in this fight. I haven't KO'd anyone for two years and I'm coming for a KO in this fight. I can't say which round it will be, but I want a stoppage. But even if that doesn't happen, as long as I do enough to win the points and win by decision. There's no way I will lose this fight. Like I said, I'm not ready to lose to anyone right now.

Article posted on 16.11.2007

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