A couple things come to mind when I think of Joshua Clottey.
First, he's a world-class fighter. The Ghana native holds wins over Diego Corrales (2007, UD10) and Zab Judah (2008, D9), and didn't disgrace himself against Antonio Margarito in 2006. He also hung with Manny Pacquiao in 2010.
Secondly, and more mysteriously, is the rarity with which he enters the ring. The ex-title challenger, who turns 36 on Oct. 6, fought once in 2009, and 2010, and 2011. He hasn't fought since Nov. 19, 2011, when he beat Calvin Green (TKO2) on a Top Rank card topped by Julio Cesar Chavez Jr-Peter Manfredo Jr. in Texas.
I chatted with Clottey (36-4 with 22 KOs), who lives in the Bronx, and asked him, point blank, where has he been?
"I'm still around!" he told me. Clottey said he's not been out of the gym, but had to settle some managerial issues. He said issues with finances weighed on him, and that he "lost concentration" going into the ring against Pacquiao, resulting in a subpar showing. "Now I'm fine," he said.
On Saturday night, he will be in Huntington, Long Island, fighting on a Joe DeGuardia/Star Boxing card, against 14-12-3 Dashon Johnson, a 25-year-old Californian who tests young guns on the way up regularly. Can Johnson upset a not-as-young-gun looking to re-climb back to the luxury-box level, where title shots at 154 might appear?
Clottey thinks not; he told me he's keen to stop Johnson and secure a title shot at 154 pounds, soon. Anyone in particular he's targeting?
"A rematch with Miguel Cotto, I'm always looking for that," he said. "I won the first fight and they didn't give it to me."
Chris Algieri tops the DeGaurdia card. Fans can watch the live fights and then stay to watch the Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez scrap on TV. Clottey said he knows full well some people will have their mind on Mayweather. "But I want to leave them thinking about me," he said. "That's what I'm going to do."
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