For Mosley, who turns 38 on Monday, it'll hopefully be a year-closing bookend to go with his dominant performance against Antonio Margarito from January. Clottey, 32, will be getting another chance to truly break through into the sport's elite.
It may also wind up being the final chance Clottey gets to do just that. Clottey (35-3, 20 KO) got a major chance when he faced Margarito in December 2006, but came up short after a hot start. He had another opportunity in June, when he fell just shy of a major win over Miguel Cotto. He did beat Zab Judah last year, defeated Diego Corrales in Corrales' final fight, and took "0"s from Shamone Alvarez and Richard Gutierrez. But none of those wins have established him as a star. Everyone knows he's a double-tough opponent and always dangerous, but in his two biggest fights, he's lost. He's raised his stock, but he's lost.
Without being a draw of any sort and considering how good he is, Clottey needs to win to keep getting major fights. As sad as it is, another close loss wouldn't help, no matter how competitive, and all it would do is scare off elite fighters. He's high-risk, medium-reward.
Mosley (46-5, 39 KO) hasn't really capitalized on the big momentum he gained after tearing Margarito apart in January, but this will give him the chance to head into 2010 with a major win. I like Mosley's speed and ferocity in this matchup, really. Clottey has shown an inability to finish in the past. At the same time, Clottey's defense is excellent, and Mosley has had trouble with guys like Winky Wright in the past. If Clottey finds that second gear offensively, he has a great shot in this fight.
Considering that Pacquiao, Cotto and Mayweather are all busy and weren't in the running for December, and that I have serious doubts that Paul Williams can make 147 anymore no matter what his team says, I see Mosley-Clottey as the toughest and best fight that Mosley could have made on this date. You can't argue with this one; it's as good as it gets for both right now.