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Boxing News of Monday, 31 July 2006


Clottey closes in on title shot

In the co-feature bout, welterweight Joshua Clottey closed in on a possible title shot with a foul-filled victory over previously unbeaten Richard Gutierrez.

Clottey began to attack the body from onset of the fight, throwing single or double left hooks to the body of Gutierrez, hoping to break him down as the bout progressed. Gutierrez pressed the action hoping to find any openings.

Clottey was able to use a strong defense against Gutierrez and counter effectively.

Gutierrez began to throw low blows and an obvious punch below the belt knocked Clottey to the canvas. After giving him time to recover, referee Dr. Lou Moret took a point away from Gutierrez.

Clottey had a point taken away in the fifth round for the same reason, although television reports showed it was only slightly below the belt.

The middle rounds saw both fighter wrestling and hitting below the belt. In one instance, Gutierrez grazed Clottey below the belt, prompting Clottey to take a knee. Referee Moret ordered Clottey up, ruling the punch should not have caused Clottey to fall.

Clottey was able to continue to beat Gutierrez to the punch and take control of the rounds. He continued working towards the body and landing hard right shots to the head.

Gutierrez was able to control the final rounds of the bout. Clottey was slowing down and not being as effective as he had been during the fight. Gutierrez increased his punch output and pursued Clottey around the ring. It was too little too late as Clottey had built up a lead earlier in the fight.

One judge scored the fight even at 113-113. The remaining two judges scored the bout 116-110 and 115-111 for Clottey. FightNews scored the bout 116-110 for Clottey.

Clottey, from the Bronx, NY, by way of Accra, Ghana, improves to 29-1, 18 KOs. Gutierrez, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida by way of Arjona, Colombia, falls to 19-0, 12 KOs.

The bout was an IBF Welterweight title eliminator. Clottey claimed the IBF International Welterweight Championship.