He looks determined in the photo, doesn’t he?
On Tuesday, 24 hours before he beat Anthony Mundine, Clottey summed up why he had been so focused for the bout.
“I can’t talk for him,’’ he said. ‘‘After the fight he can choose. It is my time to shine in Australia. This fight is very important for both of our careers. A loss and you have to push again. A win will take you to the right spot.”
“I am expecting his best. I really wanted to fight this fight to let them know I am still there.”
And he did.
Why was the fight so important?
The Ghanaian has had two fights in the past three years — both wins — and needed a fight that could propel him back into the stratosphere of Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, who he fought in 2010 and 2009.
It’s understood Andrade was the carrot dangled at the end of a Clottey bout, so Mundine bit.
Joshua Clottey, whose nicknames also include “The Grandmaster”, went down under (Australia) and fought like a man on a mission against the hometown hero.
Long before the final ding dong belled Mundine after 12 rounds, everyone knew Clottey was the new WBA International Junior Middleweight champion.
From the onset, Clottey smothered Mundine, who goes by the name “The Man.”
The man from Accra attacked relentlessly and soon floored his foe in the 3rd round – the first of five knockdowns. The battery went on with Clottey scoring two more knockdowns in the 6th, and one in each the 8th round and 10th round.
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Next up for Joshua?
This was the most significant win for Clottey since his World Championship victory over Zab Judah in 2008, for the IBF Welterweight crown.
“I am thrilled that Joshua was victorious today,” said Star Boxing CEO and Founder Joe DeGuardia, who handles Clottey’s promotions.
“I knew when I signed Joshua to a promotional agreement he would still be a major force in the Jr. Middleweight division. Joshua has the ability to defeat any junior middleweight in the world and this win sets up potentially major fights for Joshua with the likes of Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara, and my Jr. Middleweight champion, Demetrius Andrade.
“I am looking forward to Joshua’s journey back to the World Championship.”
So there you go, those are the prime targets for the Accra man.
But the one Clottey really wants among the lot is ten years his junior - Demetrius Andrade. An undefeated 26-year-old American, Andrade (20-0, 13KO) is one of the top contenders for Mayweather’s welterweight crown.
He is the one both Mundine and Clottey wanted after Wednesday’s bout. This is he.
As is the case in boxing, often when there seems to be a clear way, a small fact muddles the waters.
In this case, Clottey is promoted by Joe DeGuardia, the same man who looks after Andrade. This means that DeGuardia will have to raise a double purse if he pits both his fighters against each other. It’s not something any promoter likes to do.
What is clear is that Clottey and DeGuardia are going to bring good things to Star Boxing.
A victory against Clottey would have been impressive for Mundine, but a fight against Andrade would have put Mundine on Mayweather’s radar, particularly as both are desperate to fight the richest man in sport.
In short, Clottey is now closer to Mayweather than before he was on Wednesday.
Andrade recently declared he would “take over boxing after Mayweather retires”, and defends his WBO light middleweight belt in June against Brian Rose.
Now that Clottey looks very attractive, should Andrade prevail in two months’ time, a showdown is likely and would put the winner into the upper echelons of matchmaking discussion.
For boxing promoters, Clottey is labelled as one who dines with world champions. After all, his only career losses (four) have been against some of the best fighters of the past decade – Zab Judah, Margarito, Cotto and Pacquiao.
But because of managerial and promoter issues, he has only fought twice since he went the distance with Pacquiao in 2010.
Things are looking decidedly good for the man who used to be mocked for eating banku and okro soup mixed with kanwe (Saltpeter).
By Gary Al-Smith/Citifmonline.com/Ghana