Clottey: ?Antonio Margarito Can?t Beat Me

Wed, 1 Nov 2006 Source: www.boxingscene.com

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Ghana born Welterweight Joshua Clottey (29-1 18KO?s) has gone to camp in preparation for his scheduled contest against Antonio Margarito (33-4) at Atlantic City?s Boardwalk Hall on December 2nd. Lost among the numerous announced battles between now and the start of the new year, Clottey-Margarito may prove to be one of the best fights of the year.

Clottey?s only loss was to Mayweather opponent Carlos Baldomir and still sits heavy in the heart of ?The Hitter?. Clottey maintains that he received a controversial defeat on a disqualification when he faced Baldomir in London, England?s The Arena venue.

Since that loss Clottey has gone on to win titles that include the African, NABC, and the IBF Inter-Continental Welterweight crown, stepping up in between to grab the WBC Continental Americas Light Middleweight belt.

The peaceful mountain terrain of the northeast suit?s the soft-spoken Bronx resident as he trains in quiet confidence though he admitted today that he misses training in his native country because of the variations in the weather compared to the steady climate in Ghana. Although he normally avoids press Joshua agreed to an interview after his session yesterday.

Joshua there seems to be a wealth of talent in Ghana, including Alex ?Ali? Baba and Joseph Agbeko .

Clottey : A lot of very good boxers in my country, but it is a problem to come here because of the Visa issue.

Joshua you have been on quite a win streak since 99 but you have had some layoffs and sparse years since Baldomir, what do you attribute that to ?

Clottey: I think that people sometimes avoid me. When I fought Gutierrez I was the favorite but I took the fight late. I think I have struggled for fights but I have heart, so I do what I do whatever it takes to win.

Give us your thoughts on Margarito, Joshua?

Clottey : Just a normal guy, it?s like everything, publicity counts. Other people think that there is too much. He is like, a normal guy like me; I don?t think he knows more boxing than me, no never. He is from Mexico, and Mexico is where people have been fighting and their people follow the sport so Margarito is in the public often. He is a good fighter but he is not extraordinary.

Kermit Cintron just won the IBF title and Margarito walked through Cintron in 5 rounds, does the power display of Margarito concern you?

Clottey : Yeh, but you know I have power the same as he. I have never fought with him even in sparring this is the first time. I always talk to these guys in situations, like a friend, if I meet him somewhere we would talk. I know Kermit Cintron and he was not ready for that fight. I am not ready though to lose a simple fight to anybody. If Margarito is really going to fight the best guys then he has a surprise because to me I am not going to stand for him to hit me just like that, boom. I got a heart, so I think whatever it takes I?m going to win it. He is not going to beat me, no.

Joshua do you feel that because he is a boxer from Mexico, that Margarito is getting more than his fare share of publicity?

Clottey : It doesn't matter, The way I am even if I'm in Africa in my country, I don?t like if I have a fight to talk to much. That?s how I am. I don?t even want people to call me and ask me nothing. (We both laugh at this situation) If you ask me I?ll talk, but I?m not really good with talking about me.

Boxing is Boxing, when it is time for you to win a belt, nobody is going to take it away from you, but it?s like when you are talking, talking, and talking, something happens, maybe it?s not your time to win that belt, and people might think you are talking to much and you look foolish.

The night that we step in the ring it is not going to be calm. People already know him, that he is beating everybody. The way I see it is people don?t want to fight me for years and I struggle, this is a big opportunity for me to win a belt for my country.

I just want to go home with a belt, I know if I go home with a belt how happy people are going to be, so I think Margarito is in trouble. He is in trouble trust me.

I guess we can call you the new Quiet Man, Joshua. Sounds like you are planning to just go to work one day, do what you need to do to bring the belt to Ghana?

Clottey; Exactly, That?s all boxing is, you train, you have fun, you get in the ring do your job, and the cycle starts again. That is the thing. It?s only as a professional that the marketing starts. When you sign with a good promoter, he is going to market you and Margarito, when they offer him to fight Mayweather and they get that fight, that?s when he starts making that name.

When I see him fight I never say I?m going to fight him like this, I never what his tape, I don?t want to watch him because I know him and even if I watch him he may bring something different.

Whenever we get to the ring it will be the guy that brings it all to the table, that simple.

Let?s switch topics to Mayweather- Baldomir for a moment. You fought Carlos (Baldomir), so give us your prediction?

Clottey; It?s going to be a tough fight, but Baldomir can?t beat Mayweather. No.

Do you see another Baldomir-Clottey down the road?

Clottey ; That would make me very happy, because I need my loss back. I need to avenge. Even if I win the belt and Baldomir lose, I am going to challenge him with my belts. I need this very badly to revenge my loss. He knows that he loss our fight though, so I think he doesn?t want to give me a chance. If I was him, I won?t give me the chance because I know you will not beat me. No way!

Even if he beats Mayweather, though I don?t think Mayweather will stand for him moving around the ring coming in for combinations then getting out.

I think Baldomir has sworn that he is not going to fight me, What happen was he was supposed to fight with Margarito but he didn?t do it when I fought Steve Martinez but Baldomir doesn?t even want to see me in the same arena as him. He doesn?t want to fight me that badly because he knows I will beat him. He never even touched me in 1999, after the fight I was very, very fresh faced. He never gave me problems, we both were coming at each other headfirst the whole fight, it was not a reason to stop the fight, I should have received a warning first, but you know boxing.

That was a long time ago and I have been proving myself to everybody that I can still do it. I still feel that I have never lost.

Joshua, you fought for a light middleweight belt last year against Marcos Primera, is that a weight we can look forward to seeing you in again?

Clottey: No, I feel comfortable at welterweight. It is good for you to struggle, train hard to make the weight. Right now I weigh about 152 and the fight is not until December. If I weigh like that, I can not fight at 154. It is good for me to struggle and work hard; it helps me stay focused and hungry. It give me more power to train, so I think I will be at welterweight until I feel like there is a big opportunity out there at 154. Then I will move up, because I can do that to.

You are still a young man so the possibilities are there!

Clottey ; (laugh) Yes, I am still young and I like training to. I like training here better than Ghana but sometimes the weather is a problem. Ghana is the same it never changes. No cold. Here it changes minute to minute it seems. In Ghana everybody wants to spar, here it is difficult. In Ghana they don?t care about who the hell you think you are. (Laugh) They want to spar you, the bigger you are the more that want to spar.

Here they don?t want to learn in sparring, they want to make it a fight. That is not sparring. Some feel that winning in sparring is important, that is their mistake. When I get to the ring on fight night that is the time to win.

We left the conversation at that time and Clottey went to his meal, I couldn?t help but feel the strength in his voice when he talked about bringing the belt to Ghana, when he discussed his avenging his loss to Baldomir, and definitely his plans to defeat Margarito.

Plan on viewing this bout, if all goes as scheduled, Margarito and the boxing public may get a few surprises.

Source: www.boxingscene.com