Joshua Clottey Puts the Welterweight Division on Blast

By Ryan Songalia

IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey is not happy with boxing at the moment. Six months ago, Clottey finally won a world title belt, taking a technical decision over Zab Judah after a "headbutt" that looked more like a punch caused the fight to be stopped in the 9th round.

Three months later Judah was back in the ring on the Roy Jones Jr-Joe Calzaghe pay-per-view while Clottey waits without a venue, without a date for his mandatory challenger, South African Isaac Hlatschwayo. It just doesn't make sense to the 31-year-old Clottey.

So fed up with the sport is the titlist that he tells this writer that he is contemplating giving up on the sport and pursuing his other passion, soccer. Clottey is upset that he hasn't been able to secure fights with the top guys at 147.

"The problem is that they don't want to fight me," Clottey says, 35-2 (20 KO). "Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, they are all cowards. They need to stop being pu--ies and fight me."

Clottey, hailing from Accra, Ghana but now making his home in New York City, has made plans to be at Madison Square Garden on Saturday to call out Cotto, who is fighting Englishman Michael Jennings for the WBO title that night. Clottey fully expects Cotto to pull out a dominant victory.

"I hope they give me to him to fight," Clottey says of Top Rank stablemate Cotto. "I think it would be a very, very good fight.

"I'm going to the fight but I'm not the kind of guy who talks trash. I'm not used to that and I don't like to do that. But you have to give me what is mine because I'm a champion, number 4 in the world. I'm around them. We need to unify the belts and see who is the best."

Clottey evidently invests much stock into's rankings, which have him ranked fourth behind Cotto, Margarito and Mosley.

Clottey concedes that unless he goes out there and makes the other champions fight him, it's likely that he will remain a fifth wheel in the division, frozen out of the big money picture. Hence his commitment to increase his visibility at the big fights, where Clottey has been noticeably absent.

Clottey's primary target is Shane Mosley, the Golden Boy Promotions partner who resurrected his waning career with an upset knockout of Antonio Margarito, who had handed Clottey his last defeat in 2006, last month. Mosley took the WBA title in the process.

"I'm supposed to be the number one guy in the welterweight division but I'm number four so I have to fight with the number one guy, Shane Mosley. In 2005, they offered me the fight but he didn't want to fight me because he said I'm a monster. He is afraid of me because he knows I would beat his old ass up.

"He mentions Cotto but he doesn't mention my name."

It is introduced that due to Mosley's advanced age, perhaps he's looking for mega bouts with the likes of Cotto or another big ticket draw that could pad his retirement fund. A fight with Clottey, though intriguing, isn't likely to produce a multi-million dollar purse.

"He doesn't need to do that unless he's broke but I know he doesn't need money like that. He doesn't need to fight to make money, he needs to fight the best, then he can get the money."

Clottey says that he doesn't speak directly with his promoter, Bob Arum, the man who can secure the fights he desires. He says the only interaction that he has with Arum is in the ring, with the cameras on, following his matches. The job of acting as the liaison is entrusted to his manager Vinny Scolpino. Clottey divulges that he is in the process of dissolving his managerial contract.

"I have a bad manager who listens to the promoter and doesn't listen to me," Clottey says.

Clottey claims that when he signed the contract, he did so at Scolpino's office - not in front of the commission - without legal representation and that he did not understand the language in the agreement.

Clottey says the case is going through proceedings with the New Jersey State Athletic Commission and that a judgment is approximately 2 weeks away.

In addition, he claims that for the last six months since this dispute began, Scolpino has not paid his rent per diem of $2,000 a month, which also covers the phone bill.

Calls to Scolpino were not immediately returned.

Though he claims to never have made any significant money in the sport, Clottey says that the bulk of his purses go to supporting his family and community back home in Ghana. It is his obligation, he says, one that propels him in his search for the big fights.

"I started boxing to make a living and support my people. The little I make I use to take care of people. In Africa there are a lot of people that don't even have anything to eat or water to drink. When you make some money and become somebody, you have to support them so it's not easy.

"I have to take care of the families because it is very poor in Ghana. If I don't have money, all of these people will go hungry. I have to fight, they keep calling me from Ghana that they need more food.

"I never made big money here but it's still money and I want to do my part to make it a better place."

Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Dave Rado on 02-23-2009

[QUOTE=SekondzOut;4802652] can go to jail for slappin' a man?[/QUOTE] Well maybe I exaggerated but technically you could, as it's classed as assault. Anyway, it would be counter-productive to be physically violent outside the ring, IMO, he'd do better to make…

Comment by Mr. Philadel on 02-23-2009

[QUOTE=Dave Rado;4802625]Verbally, not physically,[B] you can't fight for a title if you're in jail![/B] But I agree he needs to start jumping press conferences and making a scene.[/QUOTE] can go to jail for slappin' a man?

Comment by Dave Rado on 02-23-2009

[QUOTE=SekondzOut;4792687]I do :boxing:.......maybe Clottey should just walk up on one of those over paid welterweights and just slap the holy shit outta them while the cameras rollin......I bet muh****as take him seriously then :cool2:[/QUOTE] Verbally, not physically, you can't fight…

Comment by Dave Rado on 02-23-2009

[QUOTE=Allucard;4797081] I can't resist but to ask, had Clottey been white and European, would he have this much trouble getting a fight?[/QUOTE] Absolutely. Look at Arthur Abraham.

Comment by Dave Rado on 02-23-2009

[QUOTE=Great Afrikan;4796545]Sugar Ray Leonard was the mega star of the '80s, but that man never turned down a challenger.[/QUOTE] Mike McCallum.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (117)
Top Headlines Long-Reigning Lefties - Pacquiao, Hagler, Martinez, Winky, More Browne Shreds Whyte: You're Euro Level, an Ugly Motherf***er Boxer Tries To Leave The Ring Mid-Count After Being Dropped Roach: Pacquiao Has Been Hurting Me, Expect a Different Manny! Former World Champion Seriously Injured, Attacked With a Sword "Fighting Words" - Breaking Down 2016's Fighter of the Year Race Golovkin's Coach: GGG Beats Kovalev, Ward and Stevenson David Lemieux: I'm Not 100% Satisfied With The Rios Win Klitschko Confirms Title Fight, Won't Confirm The Opponent Sergey Lipinets To Face Lenny Z on Charlo vs. Williams PBC Card Photos: David Lemieux Powers Past Cristian Fabian Rios Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz Could Head To The United States Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Dominik Britsch on December 10 Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera No Longer Rivals - Photo Roy Jones: If No Canelo, Golovkin Must Take a Risk and Move Up! Video: Buboy Fernandez Breaks Down Pacquiao vs. Vargas Bout Video: Manny Pacquiao Discusses Camp, Vargas Fight, More Roy Jones Jr: I'm Addicted To Boxing, No Retirement Right Now Frankie Gavin Rules Out Retirement, Wants Eggington Rematch Parker's Promoter Faces Resistance on Funding For Ruiz Event Frank Warren Details Thoughts on WBA/WBO Heavyweight Belts Jorge Linares Targets Mikey Garcia, Hopes To Face Him in 2017 Judah: Brook Showed Golovkin is Not Invincible, Canelo Can Win Photos: Sam Eggington Drills Frankie Gavin in Birmingham War Photos: Craig Cunningham Shocks Anthony Ogogo By TKO Pacquiao's Co-Trainer Expects Vargas To Fall in Later Rounds Chavez Sr: My Son Will Continue Relationship With Al Haymon De La Hoya: I Knew Pacquiao Would Beat Me Up, I Was a Dead Man Provodnikov, Pirog, Avanesyan, Troyanovsky Part of Reality Show Eduardo Hernandez Blasts Out Victor Terrazas in Two Rounds Luis Nery Closes in on Title Shot at Bantamweight David Lemieux Dominates Cristian Fabian Rios, Wins Decision Steven Butler Crushes Trotter in One, Maduma is Upset Photos: Manny Pacquiao Mobbed as He Arrives in Los Angeles Kevin Lerena Edges Micki Nielsen: Budler, Van Heerden Win Mikey Garcia Aims To Make a Statement With Dejan Zlaticanin Vazquez: I Took 'Worst Deal of My Career' To Get Juanma in There Marquez: I Beat Pacquiao Four Times, No Reason For Fifth Time! Jamie Cox Outpoints Rios in Foul-Fest, Wins WBO Regional Belt Sam Eggington Drops, Batters Frankie Gavin for Knockout in Eight

Latest Active Forum Threads