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Boxing News of Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Source: James Slater for Eastside Boing

Joshua Clottey - The Welterweight Nobody Wants To Fight

31-year-old Joshua Clottey thought things would change once he got his hands on a genuine world title. He was wrong. For though the immensely strong welterweight who was born in Ghana, Africa and now lives in The Bronx, New York battered Zab "Super" Judah to defeat in 9 rounds back in August of last year, capturing the IBF 147-pound belt in the process, he has been unable to get a fight since..

Willing, he says, to fight anyone in a currently well stocked welterweight division, the IBF ruler has seen not only a rematch with Antonio Margarito go out of the window, but also a big fight with Kermit Cintron. Angry that both men took other directions after it appeared as though they would face him - Margarito late in 2008, Cintron in Feb. of this year - Clottey now finds himself in limbo. ("Tony," of course, opted to face Sugar Shame Mosley ahead of a planned return with Miguel Cotto, while "The Killer" opted to take on Sergio Gabriel Martinez up at light-middleweight).

Speaking to this writer over the phone a while back, the softly-spoken man with the impressive 35-2(20) record suggested his promoters could do a lot more to get him the top class matches he craves. As it is, Clottey - who can only sit and watch in frustration as his precious peak years pass him by with him not being given the chance to make the really big money he deserves - is scheduled (according to BoxRec) to appear on the Feb. 21st show at Madison Square Garden that will see middleweight king Kelly Pavlik top the bill. Who knows who it will be who faces Clottey, but chances are it won't be a glamour name.

Is Clottey being avoided? Of course he is. Finding himself in the tough position of being a dangerous fighter against whom his rivals would not be paid the big bucks to face, Clottey sees the top men ignoring him. Surely, though, there must be a high profile fighter out there somewhere who is interested in the 31-year-old's world crown? A number of hugely intriguing and potentially exciting fights could be made involving Clottey - imagine the IBF champ against either Andre Berto, Miguel Cotto, or the aforementioned Margarito or Cintron.

Instead of landing these type of fights, though, Clottey has had to watch these name fighters go in other directions, leaving him without an invite to the party. Maybe things will change, and a fight with, say, WBC champ Berto, will happen some time this year. You can bet Clottey sure hopes his luck changes. The fight he really wants is a second one with Margarito, convinced as he is that only an injured hand led to his Dec. 2006 points loss. Second choice for Clottey was the Cintron fight, but now that also has vanished.

A talented fighter, who has paid his dues and is nowhere near boring to watch, IBF welterweight king Joshua Clottey deserves better treatment than he is getting.