Welterweight contender Joshua Clottey has pulled out of his scheduled January 16 fight with Michel Rosales on January 16, the date scheduled for the first show of the new Top Rank series on FOX Sports Net, reports ESPN.com's Dan Rafael. Vanes Martirosyan will replace Clottey as the headliner of the show, facing Kassim Ouma.
Dan Rafael said in his chat today at ESPN.com that Clottey pulled out because he was unhappy with the money.
This is actually something I've been meaning to comment on, but I can never find the right way to put it without it being taken the wrong way. He's very good, but his two biggest fights (Margarito and Cotto) were both losses, and his best win is Zab Judah. Outside of those three fights, he's best-known for dismantling a blown-up, faded Diego Corrales, and he had some fights on Top Rank's awful Versus Network series.
He's not particularly pleasing to watch, hasn't quite taken advantage of his biggest chances, and sadly isn't worth much money. Top Rank is stuck in a rough spot with Clottey, which sucks for him because he IS that good. He's top five or so at 147 pounds, part of the collection that makes welterweight the class that it is. He's right there with Mayweather, Pacquiao, Mosley, Cotto and Berto, and I think almost all hardcore boxing fans would favor him over Berto.
In short, it disappointed me to see Clottey back to the level of guys he was fighting before the Cotto fight, because that was a fine scrap. He's just on the outside looking in. Part of that is financial. He's medium-reward and very high-risk. Part of it is just plain nobody wanting to fight him. People don't exactly knock down Joshua Clottey's door.
Anyway, the Martirosyan-Ouma fight is probably better than Clottey-Rosales, but Ouma has lost four of five, including what looked like a career-killer against Gabriel Rosado in April. He's a hell of a story, of course, but his career hit the wall really hard after losing to Jermain Taylor. Since then he's lost to Rosado, Cornelius Bundrage and Saul Roman -- not bad fighters, but hardly great contenders, either. His only win since 2006 was an '08 victory against journeyman Martinus Clay.
Martirosyan-Ouma will be paired with a promising bout between Mikey Garcia and Monty Meza-Clay. Top Rank is also putting the final touches on a February 27 fight between Mike Jones and former Mayweather opponent Henry Bruseles, but expect that to fall through like most times Bruseles is mentioned fighting anyone in the last four years or so.