Saturday, March 13, 2010

History of Joshua Clottey

CLOTTEY (35-2, 20 KO's), the +450 underdog to Manny Pacquiao in the boxing betting odds, is a native of Accra, Ghana who now lives an trains in the Bronx. Against Pacquiao he gets an opportunity to win a welterweight title for the second time.

Boxing Betting Odds:

WBO Welterweight Title (12 rds. - 147 lbs.)

March 13 -- Arlington, TX



Over 9.5 Rounds -180

Under 9.5 Rounds +150

Boxing Props:

Manny Pacquiao by KO, TKO or Disqualification -150

Manny Pacquiao by Decision or Technical Decision +140

Joshua Clottey by KO, TKO or Disqualification +750

Joshua Clottey by Decision or Technical Decision +1000

Draw or Technical Draw +3500

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Let's take a look at the story of Manny Pacquiao:

He turned pro in Ghana in 1995, and it was pretty clear that he was going to outclass most of what was there. After ten relatively easy wins, he captured the Ghanaian 140-pound title with a 12-round decision over Marciano Commey in December 1995. After that, there were many dates in London, some of them against much more experienced foes. One of them was against Viktor Baranov, the former Russian champ, who he stopped in six rounds.

The fight that really eats Clottey's craw was his next one, as he faced Carlos Baldomir, who would later go on to win the undisputed welterweight title. In this fight at Wembley, contested for the WBC International title at 147 pounds, and where Clottey was ahead on all three judges' scorecards, he was penalized in the tenth for intentionally head-butting, then purportedly was leading with his head again in the 11th, which then prompted the referee to put a halt to the fight and award Baldomir the disqualification victory.

That could have been a breakthrough win for Clottey, but instead he went back to toiling in Ghana, then a few appearances, relatively obscure, in the U.S. An opportunity came in July 2006, as he fought Richard Gutierrez for the IBF Inter-Continental welterweight title (we don't mean to confuse you) and won majority decision. Since Gutierrrez went into that fight with a 21-0 record, that win was attention-getting. It also got him a title shot. Clottey was matched with Antonio Margarito for the latter's WBO championship in December 2006.

Though he was tough as nails, Margarito had too much in his arsenal, and won a decision over Clottey that was actually pretty decisive, drawing scorecards of 116-112, 116-112 and 118-109 in his favor. Of that defeat, Clottey was considered something of a "safe" opponent for Diego Corrales to face in his move from lightweight to welterweight. It was anything BUT safe. Corrales had his problems adapting to the new weight, and Clottey wasn't helping. He sent Corrales to the canvas twice, had him close to quitting when he spit out his mouthpiece, and rolled to a victory that wasn't even close, with scores of 97-90, 98-89 and 100-87.

That gave Clottey new life. After wins over Felix Flores, Shamone Alvarez and Jose Luis Cruz, he got a chance to fight Zab Judah, with the IBF welterweight title on the line. That matchup was pretty tight, with Clottey taking some of the early rounds, but he tore up his bicep too. There was also allegedly an accidental head butt that opened up a big cut over Judah's right eye (actually it was a Clottey right hand). The bout was stopped and they went to the scorecards, and since Clottey was ahead on all three (albeit by margins of 87-84, 86-85 and 86-85) he was awarded the technical decision over an apoplectic Judah. This was very satisfying, since Clottey had been in an altercation with Judah in a New York gym several years earlier, when Judah had challenged him to street fight and then pushed Clottey's trainer.

Clottey got a payday in his last bout, and for an opportunity to fight Miguel Angel Cotto, he willingly was stripped of his IBF belt, because the organization wanted him to defend against their #1 contender, Isaac Hlatshwayo of South Africa. Of coirse, the Cotto fight was a gateway to better money, and he almost made the most of it. He was floored in the first round by a jab, then again a head butt came into the proceedings, suffered by Cotto in the third. By and large, Clottey wasn't active enough and wasn't capitalizing on advantages. He lost rounds by not being aggressive enough and even though Cotto looked like no one special, the split decision went against Clottey. However, he still remains viable, which leads him into this fight against Pacquiao.


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