Joshua Clottey - "I Will Move Up To 154 If Paul Williams Gives Me A Shot"
Exclusive Interview by James Slater - Reigning IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey is at a loss as to why the big fights continue to elude him. The 31-year-old with the excellent 35-2(20) record felt the big opportunities would come his way after finally becoming a world champion this past August, with his fine win over Zab Judah, but this has not been the case.
Article posted on 19.12.2008
Calling Joshua up to ask him if the recent word that he would face Kermit Cintron next was true, as well as to ask him other questions, this writer had the pleasure of speaking with the African who lives in New York earlier today.
James Slater: Thank you for your time, champ. We hear it might be Kermit Cintron for you next, is that correct?
Joshua Clottey: I've not signed a contract for that fight, I don't really know too much about that fight. But I'm ready for him and I hope I get to fight him next. When he was champion he wouldn't give me a shot. I'm ready to give him a shot and beat him. I will definitely beat him. I'm not ready to lose right now. I hate to lose and I love to win.
J.S: Cintron's a big puncher, any concerns about his power?
J.C: I'm not concerned about his power. Yes he is powerful, but I train hard for every fight I have and when I get in the ring I can't feel my opponent's punches. He [Cintron] weighs 147, the same as me, so I don't care about his power.
J.S: It should be a very exciting fight for the fans. I know you've been waiting for the big fights for some time now.
J.C: Exactly. I have been waiting for my promoter to promote me and put me in with the best guys. If I fight the best I can beat the best. I have tried to do my best for American boxing, but for some reason my promoters don't want to sell me. I haven't fought since August, that's four months, but I wanted to fight again this year.
J.S: You feel the other welterweights have been avoiding you?
J.C: Exactly, they are all scared. They all give their excuses. I don't get it when they say I don't bring anything to the table. I'm a very exciting fighter and I have a world title! I want my promoters to put me on the big stage and I want to fight the very best. But I'm stuck, and I don't know when I'm going to fight again, even though I am the world champion. This is why I really like and respect Joe Calzaghe. He had all the American fighters talking trash about him, saying the same thing they say about me [not bringing anything to the table]. But he came over to America and beat the top guys. I love the way Calzaghe fights. He is my number-one favourite fighter.
J.S: Joe got his big fights in the end. Do you think you will get yours? You have been very patient.
J.C: I will get my chance one day. One day the excuses will finish.
J.S: Do you still want to fight Paul Williams? I know you said you wanted to fight him very much, yet he says no-one will fight him.
J.C: I will fight him any day. I told my manager, when I was in Africa, I will fight anybody. But he [Williams] did not approach me for the fight. I mean it when I say I will fight anybody.
J.S: As you know, Williams has moved up to 154. Would you move up to fight him?
J.C: I will go up if he gives me a shot. I'm very good against southpaws. I have never lost to a southpaw.
J.S: You can still make 147 okay though?
J.C: I can make it with no problem. I love to train, so even though it can be hard, I can always make 147.
J.S: I know you also want a rematch with Antonio Margarito, too.
J.C: I will beat him easy in a rematch. He knows it. He went to the hospital for ten hours after the first fight. I know I only lost because of my hand injury. I will definitely avenge my loss.
J.S: What chance do you give Mosley against Margarito?
J.C: Let me tell you about that fight: Margarito is colourful, but he has no defence. He takes punches all the time. If Mosley can do what he usually does, and if he can make it the full 12 rounds, he can maybe win. If there is a knockout it will come from Margarito. You don't have to move too much against Margarito, because he has no defence, he just receives punches.
J.S: Can Cotto come back from his loss to Margarito?
J.C: Yes, Cotto can come back. He's one of my favourite fighters as well. He only lost because he fought the wrong fight. He stayed on the ropes too much and he also used too much movement and got tired. He was winning the fight before he got tired. You have to use your head against Margarito.
J.S: Just getting back to Cintron, in case it is him you fight next. Do you feel you will stop him? Only Margarito has beaten him, as you know.
J.C: I'll give it to him when I fight him. If he can handle it, he will make it to 12 rounds. If not, he won't be able to last with me.
J.S: It could be argued you have never really lost or have taken a bad beating. In the loss to Carlos Baldomir you were winning before getting DQ'd, and you were winning against Margarito before you injured your hand. Is that how you feel yourself?
J.C: Yes. I've never lost a fight in my life. I've been disqualified and I got an injury.
J.S: We all hope you get the big fights you deserve in 2009, Joshua. Do you think you will have a big year in 2009?
J.C: I don't know. I want the big fights, I want to fight the best. But I don't know if my promoter will get me the best. But hopefully my chance will come next year, yes.
J.S: Well, we wish you all the best, champ. Thank you for talking to me.
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