By Jake Donovan
Even as a former welterweight titlist, it's quite possible that Joshua Clottey has discovered the defining moment of an otherwise hard-luck career. The 36-year old showed no fear on the road, scoring five knockdowns en route to a landslide upset win over Anthony Mundine in their super welterweight battle Wednesday evening in Newcastle, New South Wales.
Scores were 117-108, 116-108 and 115-109.
For years, Mundine had insisted to anyone who bothered to listen - or even still take him seriously - that he is the best fighter in the world and deserving of a lucrative showdown with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. The plan seemed to be to nibble around the edges in hopes of landing such an assignment, scouting recognizable names who were far along enough in their career to where such fights didn't pose a threat.
The plan worked with the likes of Shane Mosley, who offered no challenge in their clash last November, quitting after six rounds for the first stoppage loss of his career.
On paper, there existed the possibility that Clottey would arrive well-intended, but not offer much offense once the opening bell rang. The former champ - disgusted with the business side of boxing and going through great lengths to take charge of his career - had much different ideas.
Mundine never saw it coming, or the blows that resulted in repeat trips to the canvas. The popular, if not brash, Aussie puncher fared well early, but began to unravel following the first knockdown of the fight late in round three. Clottey remained committed to the body in breaking down Mundine, who never stopped trying and in fact was the busier fighter throughout the night.
It just so happened that Clottey was far more effective with his punch selection. Call it quality over quantity.
The first true signs of the bout reaching the point of no return came in round six, when Mundine was dropped twice more. Mathematically, the fight was on the verge of growing too far out of reach, though of course there always exists the possibility of creative scoring when it comes to bailing out a local attraction.
Mundine threatened to turn the fight around in round seven, but was back on the canvas one round later as Clottey was unfazed by anything his opponent had to offer. A look of determination resided in his eyes and was evident in his fists, throwing every punch with knockout intentions after walking through a hailstorm to get to that point.
Clottey was threatened with a point deduction after a couple of instances with loose tape on his glove, about the only thing that went wrong for him on this particular evening. Rather than let it get to him, the Ghana-born, Bronx-based boxer channeled his aggression. The payoff came with a monstrous left hook to put Mundine on the mat in the 10th round, this time with the threat of a knockout.
That Mundine made it out of the round and two more to the final bell speaks volumes of his heart and will. However, it wasn't even close to being enough to convince the judges to score it any way other than the obvious.
A sigh of relief was sensed once the scorecards were announced, as Clottey won no fewer than seven rounds on the scorecards.
The win is just his second straight following a lengthy hiatus, but means so much more. Having suffered through ugly politics and too many hands digging into his pockets, Clottey leaves 'Down Under' with restored glory in his career. The resurgent super welterweight improves - in every sense of the word - to 38-4 (22KO).
Mundine falls to 46-6 (27KO). The loss snaps a two-fight win streak for the former super middleweight and interim super welterweight titlist, who fell short in a failed bit at a middleweight title against countryman Daniel Geale last January.
(all actual results courtesy of Brock Ellis,
; edit by Jake Donovan)
Brad Pitt stepped up in class, and the end result was the first loss of his professional career. The cruiserweight suffered a 4th round knockout at the hands of David Aloua in their co-feature battle.
It was actually a competitive battle, with Pitt jumping out to an early lead and serving as the aggressor. The defensive-minded Aloua was at his best when able to make Pitt miss, but quickly realized that pure boxing alone wouldn't get the job done, as evidenced by his bloodied nose as early as the second round.
Things changed dramatically in round four, producing the mildly shocking result. Pitt was dropped hard in the round and was in serious trouble. Aloua never let up, pouncing on his wounded prey until the referee forced the stoppage.
Aloua is now 11-1 (8KO); Pitt falls to 15-1 (12KO).
Ahmet Dib remains unbeaten - though largely untested - after a 2nd round knockout of Dennapa Bigshotcamp. Thailand's answer to former featherweight champ and clown prince Jorge Paez, Bigshotcamp provided plenty of entertainment before, after and even during the bout.
What he didn't provide, however, was a formidable challenge to Dib, who scored a knockdown in round two - followed immediately by Bigshotcamp banging out some push-ups in ring - prior to the stoppage. Dib advances to 13-0 (8KO) as he is slowly brought along. Bigshotcamp has now lost eight in a row as he falls to 12-31 (4KO).
George Kambosos extended his record to 5-0 (3KO) with a 1st round knockout of Thongthai Rajanondh (16-18, 4KO) in their lightweight preliminary.
Reinold Quinlan scored a 4th round knockout over Dechapon Suwunnaralid in their super middleweight preliminary bout. Quinlan advances to 8-0 (4KO). Suwunnaralid falls to 6-27 (2KO). The 36-year old is 4-0 in his native Thailand, but used as cannon fodder everywhere else in the world, though fighting predominantly in Australia.
Cameron Hammond was anxiously looking forward to his placement on the undercard, as the undefeated super welterweight prospect expects a breakout 2014 campaign. The Oz boxer will have to wait for another day to truly prove his worth, however, as his placement on the show was a repeat performance over a novice boxer, scoring a shutout win over late replacement Pramool Boonpok.
Scores were 60-54 across the board, to go along with the four-round wipeout Hammond (9-0, 4KO) posted just over two months ago. Boonpok (0-4, 0KO) was a late replacement for Adrian Campbell, a 36-year old journeyman who withdrew earlier this week due to personal reasons.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox