For a fight that is so close to being a toss up, there isn’t nearly enough talk of a Joshua Clottey victory.
This saturday night on HBO championship boxing, Clottey will face off with Puerto Rican sensation Miguel Cotto. The fight will take place at the world famous Madison Square Garden, on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day parade.
Both fighters are ranked in the top five at welterweight by Ring Magazine. Cotto is ranked number two and Clottey at number four. Cotto is coming off a victory over Michael Jennings, while Clottey’s last fight was a win over Zab Judah.
Breaking down the matchup, this fight is pretty even until you look at the intangibles. While Cotto has a slight edge in speed and power, Clottey should have the edge in defense and a slightly better set of whiskers. The difference between the two should be Cotto’s overall boxing ability, including his ability to stick and move.
Clottey is somewhat of a plodder, and tends to throw basic one two combinations. He likes to hold his guard high, and come straight ahead. He wins fights by outlasting his opponents. In this fight, Cotto should be able to get enough done to get the win. Clottey is certainly durable enough to not get knocked out, so this should go the distance. The problem is this is essentially a home game for Cotto, and the fans will be going nuts anytime Cotto does anything.
On the surface, it would appear that winning a decision will be hard for Clottey. Digging a little deeper into this fight, a few questions linger. How much was beaten out of Cotto by Antonio Margarito? How much has the feud with his uncle and the switch of trainers affected Cotto?
Cotto’s last fight wasn’t a comeback fight. This is his REAL comeback fight. For all the questions that linger, Clottey has the answers. If Cotto is distracted, Clottey will outwork him. If Cotto wears down, Clottey will outlast him.
If Clottey should be able to pull off the upset, it will be interesting to see what Top Rank does with him next. Shane Mosley is without a current dance partner, but he is likely holding out for Pacquiao or Mayweather Jr. A rematch with Cotto would be interesting, depending on how Saturday night unfolds. A rematch with Margarito would be logical, pending Margarito is reinstated.
As for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, I’m sure they will pass on fighting Clottey. I can’t see young Andre Berto eager to step in with him fresh off a Cotto victory, either.
It seems Bob Arum will have quite a dilemma on his hands if Clottey defeats Cotto. Clottey may become a fighter good enough to beat great fighters, but not popular enough to risk fighting him.
For Clottey, a win over Cotto might not land him on the pound for pound list, but it may get him on another list.
He might join Paul Williams on Boxing’s top ten most avoided list.
Tags: Boxing, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Miguel Cotto vs Joshua Clottey