Margarito wanted Floyd; settles for Clottey

By Alex Stone


Margarito wanted Floyd; settles for Clottey

On the same show as the all-Puerto Rican battle between Miguel Cotto, 27-0 with 22 Kos and Carlos Quintana, 23-0 with 18 Kos the December 2, 2006 edition of Showtime Championship Boxing, will feature Antonio Margarito, 33-4 with 24 KOs, defending his WBO welterweight title against tough Joshua Clottey, 29-1 with 18 KOs. Boxingtalk was once again present for a conference call where Margarito and Clottey discussed their atomic showdown.  Margartio has spent years at welterweight, fighting the best… well at least the best that want to fight him. Margarito and his camp claim that he is the most ducked fighter on the planet, with the main focus being on pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. “Throughout my reign as champion, I expected to fight the best fighters out there, but nobody wanted to fight me or accept my challenge,” said Margarito. “Mayweather has seen enough of me to know how good I am. I don’t think Floyd wants to fight me, and I’m done asking him.”

Margarito’s promoter, Bob Arum, also added his input on Margarito’s status as the pound-for-pound most ducked fighter. “Many people think we have blown this out of proportion, but that’s not true. Nobody wants to fight Margarito. I’ll give you an example. A little while ago, Shane Mosley spoke to someone who got a hold of me and said that Mosley wanted to fight Miguel Cotto if he wins next week. We told them that Cotto had a mandatory defense against Oktay Urkal for his next fight [Cotto-Quintana is fir the vacant WBA welterweight title, with an immediate mandatory due afterwards], but that Antonio Margarito was available. Sure enough, Mosley didn’t want the fight. Were not making this shit up!”

“Mayweather would have made 8 million to fight Margarito. Instead he chose to fight Baldomir, and I don’t care what anyone says, he did not make 8 million for that fight, nowhere near it! Mayweather chose Baldomir because he was looking forward to fighting Oscar De La Hoya and he knew that Margarito would be too dangerous. It takes a guy with real guts like Joshua Clottey to agree to step in the ring with Margarito,” added Arum.

Real guts indeed, and Clottey certainly feels that he is ready. “I have trained hard for this, and I hope he is ready, because I am coming to fight. I am ready to do whatever it takes to win the belt,” said Clottey, whose sole loss was a controversial one; it came in 1999 against the highly regarded, former world champion, Carlos Baldomir. Clottey was questionably disqualified in the 11th round for leading with his head. Clottey says he was winning most of the fight.

When asked about his plan for how he would handle Margarito’s constant pressure style, Clottey was not worried. “He fights the same way that I do. Whatever comes, it comes, you have to be ready to go 12 rounds. I will be ready do whatever I have to do.”

Margarito was also questioned as to what we could expect from him out of the gate. “Every fight is the same for me. I come forward and throw a lot of punches, and he [Clottey] does the same. If I have to change during the fight, then I will. He is very aggressive and I’m ready for it. I’m ready to go 12 rounds if I have to. This will be a very explosive fight.”

When asked about his future, assuming he gets by Clottey, Margarito said “I wouldn’t mind unifying the belts with the winner of Cotto–Quintana. Whatever Bob [Arum] wants to do.” Paul Williams is Margarito’s mandatory as picked by the WBO. As far as Clottey is concerned, a rematch with Baldomir may certainly be on the horizon. “I am willing to fight anyone at 147 or 154,” said Clottey.

Margarito – Clottey and Cotto – Quintana will be broadcast live, December 2, 2006, on Showtime Championship Boxing.