By T.K. Stewart
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that perennial welterweight contender and former titlist Joshua “The Hitter” Clottey stands to earn upwards of $1 million plus additional money from HBO PPV for his March 13 bout versus Manny Pacquiao.
For Clottey, who grew up dirt poor in Accra, Ghana the rewarding fight against Pacquiao has been a long time coming. Clottey has been fighting professionally since 1995.
“I grew up with nothing,” Clottey told BoxingScene.com. “I had to fight my way out of poverty.”
Many in the industry figured Clottey had made a poor choice when he turned down a fight earlier this year on the premier show of Top Rank’s new FOX Sports boxing program.
Clottey’s reasoning was that the “prestige” of the fight was not up to his standards. He felt he deserved to be fighting on HBO. And only a few weeks later, Lady Luck looked his way when the negotiations for a Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. bout imploded and he was called upon to face Pacquiao.
“This is a fight that I wanted and when I heard that I was the one I rushed to America to make it happen,” he said. “This is the fight that I deserve. This is a dream for me.”
Clottey, 32, will earn a career high payday against Pacquiao and the seven figure check will immediately place him in the millionaire tax bracket. Clottey hopes this fight could be the springboard to other such paydays.
“I want to fight both Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto again,” he said. “I would like to get a rematch with both of them because when I fought them the first time - something happened. My record shows a loss against them. But the Cotto fight was controversial and both of my hands got injured against Margarito. So I need to fight those two guys to make it right, you know?”
While Clottey’s record is 35-3, two of the losses are controversial. The first was a very questionable 11th round disqualification against Carlos Baldomir in 1999. It was a fight in which Clottey was comfortably ahead on the scorecards. In 2009,he fought valiantly against Miguel Cotto but was on the short-end of a split-decision loss. Many (including this writer) felt Clottey deserved the decision. The only fight in his career that Clottey clearly lost was against Antonio Margarito in 2006.