Thursday, January 28, 2010

Joshua Clottey Is Cleaning The Corner That Floyd Mayweather Jr. Crapped In

Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey were standing underneath the world's largest high-definition video display in the world's largest domed stadium.

All eyes were focused squarely on them and they knew it. So they smiled each other.

It was a refreshing display of humanity between two fighters who were announcing their upcoming boxing match scheduled to take place at the opulent new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on March 13.

A date that was originally reserved for Floyd Mayweather Jr. to face Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

But most people know how those hostile fight negotiations ended up.

Rather than agreeing to fight the Filipino icon who has won championships in a record seven different weight classes—Mayweather decided that the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stage boxing's biggest event would instead be an excellent time for him to pull down his pants and take a crap.

So he did.

He crapped all over Pacquiao, the sport of boxing, the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the numerous fans who have faithfully supported his career since he first won the National Gold Gloves in 1993, and everyone else in between.

And he seemed to enjoy it.

And now there is crap everywhere .

That's why it's so refreshing that a smiling Joshua Clottey is going to be Pacquiao's next opponent.

The fighter, also known as "The Hitter," is everything that Mayweather is not; he's dignified, respectful, aggressive, courageous, and willing to actually square up and fight.

He's the perfect selection to stand in the corner opposite of Pacquiao on March 13 and attempt to clean up the mess that has been left on boxing's landscape by Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Born in the Republic of Ghana and now fighting out of the Bronx in New York City, Clottey is 35-3 with 20 knockouts. All three of his defeats are also somewhat controversial:

In 1999, Clottey was disqualified against Carlos Baldomir in the 11th round for head-butting after the referee had warned him to stop leading with his head. At the time he was winning comfortably on all three of the judge's scorecards.

In 2006, Clottey lost unanimously to Antonio Margarito. But Margarito was later found with illegal plaster in his hand wraps before fighting against another opponent, casting a shadow of doubt over all of his previous victories.

And in 2009, Clottey lost via split-decision in a close, hard-fought battle with Miguel Cotto. Many people watching the fight live thought it should have been scored a draw or a split-decision victory in Clottey's favor.

All in all, it's not that difficult to recognize how formidable of an opponent Clottey is for the naturally smaller Pacquiao. He's a legitimate welterweight that's never fought below 140 and he has never been knocked out.

If Pacquiao plans on extending his record to 51-3-2, it's quite apparent that he has his work cut out for him. On the bright side though, I don't think he's going to have to worry about any more crap storms precariously rolling in over the horizon.

Clottey seems ready and willing to put a stop to that immediately.

So from here on out, I'm expecting forecasters from the boxing world to call for mostly sunny skies with occasional smile storms mixed in, something the sport could certainly use more of at this point in time.

And I'm sure Pacquiao and Clottey will be more than happy to oblige.

They've already gotten off to a wonderful start.


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