Clottey says in an article at Fight News, “I would love to fight with Cotto. I would love to fight with Margarito, because in both fights, something happened. Cotto was controversial. Margarito was the [left] hand, so I need to fight them again.”
Clottey only has himself to blame for the loss to Cotto in June 2009. Clottey fought well up until the 9th round, at which point he ran out of gas and spent the better part of the remaining three rounds with his back against the ropes and both gloves glued to his face. It may have been somewhat of a controversial decision, but it’s easy to see why two of the judges decided to give the fight to Cotto instead.
Clottey, if he really wanted to get the win, should have been much more aggressive in the last three rounds and stayed off the ropes. Clottey looked tired and didn’t throw enough punches. This wasn’t the first time that Clottey had made this mistake, though. He had the same problem occur in his 12 round decision loss to Margarito in December 2006.
Clottey fought well for the first five rounds, and then suddenly started to look tired and throw few punches. He said later that he hurt his left hand, which kept him from letting his hands go, but Clottey looked really tired as well. Margarito just outworked him and did so by throwing an avalanche of punches that night. It would have been hard to see Clottey keeping up with him even under the best of circumstances.
Clottey might be better off staying clear of Cotto and Margarito if he can somehow beat Pacquiao on March 13th. The smart fight would be a rematch with Pacquiao rather than wasting time with Cotto and Margarito. I think those are good fights for the future, win or lose against Pacquiao, but not anytime soon. Clottey would probably be effective against the vast majority of the welterweights in the top 15, but I can see him struggling against Cotto, Margarito, Shane Mosley, Pacquiao, Andre Berto and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But he would probably have enough to beat the rest of them for the time being, unless Clottey suddenly gets old overnight. At 32, Clottey probably has another few good years in him before he starts to rapidly fade as a fighter. I think his stamina will start getting worse in the next couple of years and when that happens, Clottey will have problems winning fights because he’s not a knockout puncher anymore.