Mike Coppinger has a terrific article on and interview with Joshua Clottey up over at BoxingScene.com, as the fighter says he's ready to finally return to the ring, this time at 154 pounds.
Clottey (35-4, 20 KO) hasn't fought since his March 2010 loss at Cowboys Stadium to Manny Pacquiao, a harshly criticized performance that is still blasted pretty frequently. In that fight, Clottey offered little challenge to Pacquiao, and despite marking up the Filipino fighter with the punches he did throw, spent much of the fight in a defensive shell as Pacquiao tried in vain to make the fight interesting.
When a fight's most lasting moment is this, you know you're talking about a stinker:
But Clottey has targets, and they're big fish indeed. Clottey would love to rematch the Miguel Cotto, against whom he dropped a highly-competitive decision in 2009. And he hopes people haven't written him off based on his single performance against Pacquiao, which he admits was a bad performance:
"I want everybody to understand that they shouldn’t just look at the Pacquiao fight, they should look at my past fights. My fight with Margarito, my fight with Cotto, my fight with Diego Corrales, my fight with Zab Judah.
"I really miss the ring, I really want to fight."
Another target is young Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, the WBC's 154-pound titleholder who is picking up major buzz. Obviously Clottey will want to get his feet wet with a tune-up, and says he's planning to do that before the calendar turns over to 2012.
But while I'm glad to hear that Clottey is looking to get going again, I can't help but note that Clottey has had comeback talks this year, and turned down fights. He turned down Kermit Cintron for a July 9 date (when Cintron wound up losing to Carlos Molina), saying the money wasn't good enough. And prior to that, he withdrew from a March date with Calvin Green, which would have been on the Cotto vs Mayorga show, claiming injury.
Injuries are injuries, but Clottey has got to be aware that his market value has grossly plummeted. He was never a big star, but now he's got a bad reputation and a terrible performance in his last fight. It's old news, but it was such a terrible outing for him, and drew such awful reviews from media and fans, that he's going to have to accept that it's all on him, and that he might have to take a short-money risk at some point.
I'm hoping we do see Clottey back in the ring. He's a good fighter, better than he appeared against Manny Pacquiao, and he adds to the 154-pound division instantly. Best of luck to Clottey going forward.