Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Clottey Ready for any Version of Miguel Cotto

Miguel Cotto (left) and Joshua Clottey will meet under different circumstances on June 13 at Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York City.

With a little more than two weeks to go before he takes on Miguel Cotto for the WBO welterweight title at Madison Square Garden, Joshua “The Hitter” Clottey says the biggest problem he has had in his career so far is getting other fighters to simply step in the ring with him.

“I have a problem with other fighters coming to the ring and fighting me,” says Clottey, the former IBF welterweight belt-holder who hails from Accra, Ghana. “That's all, that's the biggest thing for me.”

The 32 year old Clottey, with a record of 35-2, 20 knockouts, always shows up in great shape and ready to fight and most recently he was avoided by Kermit Cintron. The only two losses in a career that began in 1995 have been to former world champs Carlos Baldomir and Antonio Margarito. He holds wins over former world champs Diego Corrales and Zab Judah and he says his strategy against Cotto will be a simple one.

“I don't know how he is coming to fight me,” says Clottey. “But if he is going to try and run, then he is going to have a big problem, because I am not going to allow him to run away from me.”

Clottey is a pressure fighter who comes forward behind a high guard and tight defense. He is a muscular welterweight who will likely weigh in as a middleweight or super middleweight on fight night. He holds height and reach advantages over Cotto and it was a fight that he vocally campaigned for.

Clottey exalts after beating Zab Judah for the IBF welterweight belt in 2008.

“I'm going to be ready for anything that he brings,” says Clottey of their fight that will take place on June 13. “Whether he wants to run or whether he wants to try and stand there and trade punches with me – I don't know. The question he has to ask himself is whether he has has much heart as I do.”

Clottey claims he is aware that Cotto has excellent skills as a fighter, but in his view boxing is more about heart – not skills.

“I don't respect his boxing skills,” says Clottey. “Maybe he can make me respect his heart. His skills won't be able to keep him in the fight as the rounds go by - but his heart might be able to. I don't know if he has the heart to last with me. Maybe after four or five rounds with me he'll want to quit. I'm going to jump on him. I'm going to stop him”

As it currently stands, Cotto is a -400 favorite over Clottey who is a +300 underdog. The sportsbooks like Cotto to retain his title by decision.

May 2009

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