by Tomi Pradarics and Adam Noble-Forcey
Welterweight prospect Luther Clay has had a decent year in 2018, going 4-0 with one on the inside. The South African-born, English-based boxer, however, has already settled his goals for the new year that includes improvement in quality of opposition as well as a potential title bout.
The 23-year-old Clay, who had his professional debut in Riga, Latvia in early 2016, has finished his third year in the paid ranks with a decision win over Yahya Tlaouziti (14-4-3, 5 KOs) over eight rounds following a two-way action battle in late October at the Leisure Centre in Bracknell, England.
The Siesta Boxing Promotions’ backed fighter, who also secured a quality win over hard-nosed veteran Renald Garrido back in July at the same venue in Bracknell, is clearly looking to move into a new realm with his career come 2019.
“I saw a poll on twitter for who Ekow Essuman should make his first defense of the English title against. There were four boxers on the poll and I came second ahead of the like of Gary Corcoran. That’s a fight that interests me. There is also Mike McKinson who had a good performance against Sammy McNess. But one thing I really need at the beginning of the year is a ten-round fight; there is no point in doing any more eights,” Clay told to Adam Noble-Forcey in a recent interview.
The Bracknell-based boxer feels he is also ready to get his first title fight in the new year.
“Then, after that, I think it’s time for me to maybe get a title fight. I think I’m ready. I’ve been in with some good fighters this year. [Jean Pierre] Habimana [another victim of Clay by way of an 8-round TKO in May] had never been stopped before and I got him out of there in Riga, then I had the fight with Renald Garrido, who can give anybody a tough fight and I dealt with him well, again he’s never been stopped. Finally, Tlaouziti, who won the French title after I beat him. So, it’s been a good year. My manager [Al Siesta] has matched me in tough fights and I’m experienced fighting on the big stage and in front of my home fans. I’m ready for anything.”
Young Clay could easily be critical with his performances inside the squared circle, that shows he is humble enough to change things in training in order to display more improved ring works in his upcoming matchups.
“I don’t know, I wasn’t happy with my performance [in my last fight against Tlaouziti], but I wasn’t un-happy with it. He was trickier than he looked on video. I wasn’t able to get the range quite right to be able to land to the head as much, so I had to go body hunting. It was a tricky-ish kind of fight. It was closer than I would of liked, which doesn’t make me that happy. It was OK!”
You can reach Tamas Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.