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Boxing News of Friday, 29 January 2010

Source: Dornu-Leiku, Prince

Joshua Clottey disappointed coach can’t get visa

By Prince Dornu-Leiku Joshua Clottey will not forgive US Embassy officials in Ghana if his trainer does not travel with him to the USA on Tuesday. The Ghanaian boxer is disappointed that despite government intervention and pleas on the urgency and need of the issue, US immigration officials have refused to grant visa to his trainer Godwin Dzanie Kotey. “I am very very disappointed. I am so disappointed because this is the reason why I came down to Ghana and the money I spent to buy plane ticket and time wasted have been useless. It is so disappointing and I don’t even know what to say. Its like Ghana is not regarded because everybody in the world knows that this fight is coming on. I am very disappointed,” an obviously disenchanted Clottey stated in Accra where he has been training with coach Kotey at the Attoh Quarshie Gym.

Clottey, 35-3, 20 KOs, arrived in Ghana just three days after signing paperwork sealing a mega fight with Philipine icon Manny Pacquiao in Dallas on March 13. Clottey flew down home in order to help acquire visa renewals for his trainer and assistant. But the deal to take on the highly-rated Pacquiao has it seems come at a heavy cost to the 32 year old Ghanaian fighter because of US immigration requirements. US officials maintain Kotey will be travelling to Dallas to work when Joshua goes into battle against Pacquiao and therefore has to get the required P-1 visa to make the trip. Apparently the earliest time the P-1 visa can get processed will take two whole months, by which time Clottey should have long fought Manny.

Now the boxer expects US officials to understand the enormity of the situation at hand and use their discretion to issue visas to the trainers, even if for two months. But the US Embassy in Accra remain adamant and have not issued the entry permit even after top officials at the National Sports Council and Sports Ministry got involved on behalf of the boxer. Joshua says Kotey is the trainer in which he has confidence and believe can guide him to victory amid revealing that he has no idea yet who he will chose as trainer when he goes back to America on Tuesday.

“Alloway is the coach I know, he can speak my language to me and make me understand things better. I am disappointed in the US Embassy because now I have to go and do this difficult job with people I don’t know. Now everything is on only me, I have to do it all on my own so I have to be at my best,” Joshua, who even wept when this issue was raised at last Tuesday’s press conference, said. He has been training with his preferred team in Accra and he says he is in terrific shape and ready to face Pacquiao for the WBO Welterweight title. “I am in good shape and I am enjoying myself in training and I must say I am very ready for the fight even if its today. But I need my coach there with me, I need him,” added Clottey.

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