I recently had the chance to speak with former IBF welterweight champion, Joshua ‘The Grand Master’ Clottey. A veteran in the sport, Clottey has faced the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto and Zab Judah in the ring and is known as one of the most durable fighters in the sport. In this interview, Clottey talks about the recent news of Saul Alvarez injuring himself and pulling out of the scheduled fight with him and what he hopes transpires next. Joshua also spoke about his win over Anthony Mundine and his desire to erase the Manny Pacquiao fight from the minds of the boxing fans. Here is what Joshua Clottey had to say.
(click play to listen to the full interview)
Robert Brown: You had some unfortunate news, your bout with Canelo Alvarez has been cancelled because of an ankle injury to Alvarez. How do you feel about that?
Joshua Clottey: Well it’s very, very sad because after the Mundine fight I wanted to come to the US and prove it to them that I’m in a different weight class and I’m ready to fight the best. I don’t believe when Alvarez said he’s injured, but you know what, I think I’m waiting for Alvarez to get back to fit so that we fight maybe in January.
Robert Brown: Are you confident the fight will be rescheduled?
Joshua Clottey: That’s what I want. I want the fight to be rescheduled because he signed a contract to fight, so if he’s injured, I have to give him some time to rest. When he gets better we just reschedule the fight and fight. They can’t just leave me out like that because I signed a contract and I spend my time and my fans are waiting for the fight. We can’t just leave it like that, we have to fight.
Robert Brown: You’re coming off a very impressive win in Sydney, Australia against Anthony Mundine. Do you feel that win over Mundine is enough preparation to be fighting someone with the class of Canelo Alvarez?
Joshua Clottey: Yeah of course. It’s not like because I beat Mundine that’s why I would love to fight Canelo, no. Mundine is a good fighter but there’s a time for everything, when I fought him most of the Australian people thought Mundine was gonna beat me, so they didn’t really take the fight serious. I came there, I proved to everyone in Australia that I’m still Joshua. After the fight, people started realizing that Joshua is great too, that was as I was leaving the country.
I wanted to fight with Canelo and let people know that I am still in the game, that’s why I’m so happy about the Canelo fight, because I wanted to prove like I proved in Australia that I’m still in the game. I wanted to prove the same thing in America. I don’t believe Canelo is injured.
Robert Brown: Are you looking forward to getting back on the big stage against Canelo Alvarez so you can prove to the rest of the world that the performance against Manny Pacquiao wasn’t the real Joshua Clottey? Do you feel like you have to return for that performance?
Joshua Clottey: Yeah exactly. The Mundine fight was very small money, it’s not a money issue because the money was too low. I did not think about the money, I only wanted to prove to the world that I’m still there and the Manny Pacquiao fight was just a bad day for me.
I took the Mundine fight because I wanted to prove to the whole world and I did. Australian people did not even believe me, I mentioned I was coming to Australia to fight and everybody would like to come and watch or buy the pay-per-view because they know what I can do. The same thing I wanted to prove in America.
I’ve already proved myself fighting with Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito, Zab Judah and everybody, but the Pacquiao fight really put me down. I wanted to let them understand that one mistake cannot let you take me out of your mind. That’s why I wanted to fight with Canelo and I was so happy about the fight.
Robert Brown: What did you feel your strengths were gonna be against Canelo and how were you expecting to make things difficult for him?
Joshua Clottey: Well Canelo is a very tough fighter, a very good fighter. He’s very strong and he’s very young, but I have the feeling and I have the mind, I have everything that I’m gonna defeat him. To be frank with you, on top of a fight like that, if I wanted to fight and I’m really into the fight, I’m always dangerous.
I know if I fight with Canelo, I’m gonna beat him. That’s why I wanted to fight, but you know if I had the fight, I don’t even think about Manny. I told them straight that you know what, this is the right time for me to prove to the people that I’m still there.
You know why the fight is gonna be interesting right? I’m the type of fighter who always likes to bang, I always want to stand there and fight with my opponent. If I fight with Canelo, because Canleo has the same style like me, it’s gonna be a very exciting fight.
People should forget about my Pacquiao fight, they should think about my future, they should think about what I’m doing now after the Pacquiao fight. If I fight with Canelo, it’s gonna be a very exciting fight because you’re gonna see the endurance on each other. I’m not gonna move away from him, he’s not gonna move away from me, so it’s gonna be a very good fight, tough fight.
Robert Brown: If it was somehow possible, would you like a rematch with Manny Pacquiao?
Joshua Clottey: If you ask me what I want in this life before I die, the only thing I’m gonna say is, “Give me another shot with Manny Pacquiao!” Even if I’m not gonna get paid, I would fight. If they’re not gonna pay me, unless maybe after the fight and they realize I fought well, I would take the fight.
To be frank with you, there are so many things that happen to a fighter. Sometimes problems come from the managers. Corrupt managers only want the money, they don’t really care about the fighter, so they really take a lot from the fighters. If today I had the chance to go into the ring and fight Manny Pacquiao without even collecting money, I would do that.