Corrales-Clottey: Follow the leaders

By Mike Samuels


Corrales-Clottey: Follow the leaders

One of the most intriguing aspects of the UFC is the fact that on any given night a fighter can lose a big fight and come back a few months later without a tune-up, only to raise the stakes once again. Wins and losses matter; but they are not life and death. Anyone who has ever watched Diego Corrales fight understands the life and death mentality that he brings to him each and every time out. Which is why it is of no surprise that Corrales, after two straight losses, (Jose Luis Castillo, Joel Casamayor) is jumping up to the welterweight division to challenge the young and very dangerous Joshua Clottey.

Corrales is the more accomplished fighter but with that merit comes the long road of punishment that he has had to travel down, especially in his two fights with the rugged Jose Luis Castillo. Despite his history Corrales continues to fight each and every opponent the same -- with raw passion and wrecklessness that few and far between would dare engage in.

Joshua Clottley is the one expection to that rule. Although young and somewhat "unproven," Clottley showed that he belongs by nearly dethroning WBO welterweight champion Antonio Margarito this past December. Clottley traded with the rugged Mexican brawler round after round, getting the best of the champion early on in the fight despite injuring his hand.

When you combine youth with size and strength and add to the fact that Clottey has a "nothing to lose" attitude, it is easy to see just why many around the sport would not criticize Corrales if he made his welterweight debut against a safer opponent. But that is not the kind of fighter Corrales is, or ever has been. He is constantly pushing the envelope and taking his body to the limits. This type of machoism may have shortened his career in the long run, but it has helped revive a sport that some believe will be struggling to catch up to other fighting genres in the near future -- if it hasn't happend already.

Whether or not Corrales defeats Clottey is not the point.  He's already won in terms of marketability, fanfare and overall accomplishments. While other fighters on other networks are using their feature time to showcase themselves, Corrales is showcasing the best that the sport has to offer. In order for boxing to get it right, those in charge should take some notes on just how Diego Corrales handles not only himself but his career inside the ring.

Many people outside boxing circles may not know too much about Joshua Clottey.  They probably don't know awhole lot about Diego Corrales either. But if any new fan tunes in to this welterweight bout on Saturday they will leave with a new appreciation for the sport.  It's only a small step to bring boxing back to the top. But it is a step that Corrales and Clottey are taking.

Eventually, someone needs to follow the lead.

QUICK FLURRY: Last week the Grand Rapids Press broke the news that local Golden Gloves fighter Justin Jones, 19, was indeed the son of former fighter Floyd Mayweather SR. Mayweather appeared to be happy about the news and plans on helping his son after assisting in work with Floyd Mayweather JR's. upcoming PPV bout against Oscar De la Hoya. Jones can be seen this Saturday, April 7th, in competing in the Golden Gloves tournament at the Grand Armory on 44th steet in Wyoming, Michigan. Tickets are available at the door. Fights start at 7PM EST.


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