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Boxing News of Saturday, 5 May 2001

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Inteview With Emmanuel "Sleek" Clottey

Please, tell us briefly about you amateur career?

I had a successful amatuer and I learn a lot before I turn pro in 1994. I went to Sierra Leone in West Africa 1993 and won a Gold medal then I went to Canada for the Commonwealth games. I wasn't feeling good before the competition but I just did my best, so I turned professional after that in 1994. I wasn't in the best condition, I was a little sick before the fight, I was told by fellow team memebers not to fight but I said I wanted to. But the guy that beat me was from Canada, he went on to win the Gold medal in my division. I lost 2-1 to him. I know if I was in good condition he stood know chance with me. I would have blow him away.

Why did you decide to Box?

I always wanted to be a fighter, i looked up to people like Azumah Nelson, so I started amateur because you need that amateur experience before turning pro. I always wanted to be a professional boxer so I went in to learn to box. I went to the boxing gym in Accra, Ghana everyday.

What can you tell our readers about your upcoming (May 5 2001) fight with Trujillo?

He's a good fighter and undefeated. I've watched his tapes he's aggressive, just comes at you and just moving forward like Felix Trinidad. If he fights me the same way then I would force him to step backwards. I'll see what he got in the ring. I'm going to win the fight by either knockout or decision. I don't want to say I'll definitely knock him out but I'm in good shape, I just fought on April 21, so we're going in there to win by KO or decision whichever one comes.

How would you describe your last fight with Vicent Harris last month April?

It was a tough and great fight for me. Harris normally fights at 154 pounds but he came down to 140 to face me. He caught me with some good shots in fact, I made a mistakes so he staggered me with a right hand. After that I began to eat him up. At the end of the night, I carried the lead and won the 10 round decision. He was a hard guy to fight

How did you get your ring name "Sleek"?

People started to call me the name "Sleek" because they said that I was a sleek puncher when I step in the ring. I'm always sharp like a snake not easy to dictate my style.

Any words to your fans out there?

I love my fans and I'm not going to let them down. It will be a great fight and I must take advantage of it. I'm coming to fight, I want the boxing fans to switch on Showtime and people in Africa will get an opportunity to watch it too. This is the fight of my life, I have to prove to the world that I belong at jr welterweight class. The world title shot is coming soon and I'll bring it to Ghana. Thanks for your supports. I have to fight to win and I need everything I have worked for.

Is your father and mother still alive, what do they think of you?

I love my parents, my father (Ali Clottey) and mother (Mamuma Ansah) are proud of me and supportive. My family will be watching so I gotta put in my best.

You have a younger brother (Joshua Clottey) who's also a professional fighter, what's going on with him lately?

Joshua's the current African welterweight champion. He's a very good boxer, he just beat Nigerian, Ike Obi April 27, for the title .

Please, describe your bout with Collin Duune in 1998?

We fought for the WBU title and I was just robbed badly in London so I decided not to fight there anymore.

Your impression of Azumah Nelson?

Azumah's our hero. He was a great champion. He's the one that inspired most of us. We all want to be like Azumah the three-time world champion. He's our romodel and also Ike Quartey was a champion. I know I'll become a world champion too.