Joshua Clottey: Fighter Analysis
The welterweight standout, Joshua Clottey, is just one of
prominent boxing figures of today. Just like his fellow boxer and countryman,
Ike “Bazooka” Quartey, Clottey seems to have the essential tools to become the
top dog in the sport of boxing, yet, still falls short by losing to quality
opponents rather non-convincingly. Ghana
Fortunately for Joshua Clottey, he still has plenty of fights left in him and he will have the biggest chance of his life to surpass Quartey’s underachievement by beating the pound for pound kingpin Manny Pacquiao.
Toughness and Defense
Saying that Joshua Clottey is tough-as-nails is an understatement. Whatever
is doing with its fighters, they sure make them durable and resilient. Joshua
Clottey indeed looks menacing and very physical. His durability and knack to
work through pain has become a Joshua Clottey signature. Ghana
Having a good chin, he was never in trouble of getting KOed and had been knocked down only once courtesy of Miguel Cotto’s counter stiff jab. It was more of a balance/flash knockdown. Joshua Clottey was never out of it.
In his match against the proven cheater Margarito, Joshua Clottey battled through the whole fight with an injured hand which happened in the fourth round. It would be fair to assume that Margarito was fighting with loaded wraps that time and it might be the reason why Joshua Clottey injured his hand as his defensive style is blocking and absorbing punches with his arms and hands. Nevertheless, Joshua Clottey fight through the hurt, but his punches after the 4th round were not as murderous. The Ghanaian lost by decision but was never in trouble.
Joshua Clottey has a great defense. He uses the peek-a-boo defense well as he prefers to absorb punishing blows with his forearms and gloves. He certainly has the aptitude and toughness to deal with it. Clottey’s style of defense is very reminiscent of Quartey and Wright. The covering and blocking technique of Joshua Clottey is apparently too difficult for others to penetrate. If he does get hit, Clottey’s jaw is another thing to contend with.
Bodyshots are either received willingly by Clottey’s granite body or blocked by his elbows. Somehow, Joshua Clottey welcomes body attacks so he can counter off that.
Just like his defense, Joshua Clottey’s offense is also fundamentally sound. He is not flashy and does not waste energy with unnecessary movements and normally picks his shots.
At first glance, the Ghanaian depicts a typical pressure fighter as he’s always in your face pressing forward. But he is actually more (or less) than that due to the fact that he can box with great accuracy and counter effectively. He is less of a pressure fighter because he tends to be inactive with his offense and seems to just stand in front of the opponent taking punishment. Quite baffling but the most likely reason is he’s resting, regaining composure, or just playing possum. Whatever his reasons are, it surely didn’t help him in the Cotto fight. Many have said that if only Clottey got a bit busier and added more volume to his punches, he could have won the fight.
Nevertheless, Joshua Clottey has superb boxing abilities. He can play the boxing game surprisingly well. His jabs and straights are fast and crisp. He doesn’t telegraph his punches as all straight punches are thrown from his defensive stance without any extra wind-up movements. He has the ability to beat you to the punch because he is so quick to snap those jabs and straights. Joshua Clottey is also a good counter puncher. He heavily favors countering off the blocks and misses or merely stop-hit you to death with straight shots. His jabs, though not as excellent as that of Quartey’s, is still effective when used consistently.
Joshua Clottey has decent footwork but definitely not very fast with his feet particularly in lateral movements. If there’s one good thing about his footwork, it would be his forward rush to hit your with his shots, usually a one-two. Joshua Clottey prefers to fight straight up and coming forward. If not that, he may coax you in an in-fighting game. Basically, these are the two distances that Clottey prefers – the mid range and the in-fighting range.
As an in-fighter, Joshua Clottey has potent and accurate hooks and uppercuts. Clottey works the body with powerful left hooks and snaps your head back with uppercuts. He likes to put them in combination as well and may sometimes surprise you with combos like the one-two or one-one-two which is quick and very effective. His hand speed is excellent and underrated. Unfortunately, he uses it less often than needed.
Crafty Foul Tactician
Joshua Clottey is not nicknamed “The Grandmaster” for no reason. He is crafty inside the ring and this craftiness includes dirty tactics. Clottey is your typical dirty fighter and it seems instinctive on his part. His preferred illegal move is the headbutt as he often leads with his head and will use it in retaliation or desperation. He was in fact disqualified against Baldomir due to his headbutting habits. It was a fight that he dominated but unfortunately lost.
He can be sneaky with his headbutts; he used it against Margarito and Cotto. Cotto suffered a deep cut because of it but was ruled as accidental.
Joshua Clottey has the tools to become a dominating champion but he has inconsistencies and habits that cost him some of his big fights and will continue to take its toll if he doesn’t change. Clottey is a well-rounded fighter but he doesn’t fully commit to any specific style, even if it means winning.
Clottey is a very good boxer, quick hands and sound execution of punches with good power as well. Yet, he doesn’t have the lateral quickness and head movement to become a full-pledge boxer. He is a good counter puncher but to be great at counterpunching, you need to have evasion skills and counter from it. Clottey is so good in his signature block-and-counter style but it is just not good enough for me as a counterfighting style.
Most notably, Joshua Clottey has an excellent pressure fighting style but he is inconsistent with it. He slacks off in different moments of the fight -- ceasing to attack, just standing there clamming up to take shots. That is not pressure fighting. That is why a lot of people question his stamina. I am not sure, but it could be his attitude. Double the work rate and add just a bit of his consistency in his pressure, Joshua Clottey will become more of a monster than he was in his past fights.
Joshua Clottey is full of ironies. You can say that he lacks the fortitude because he can’t steady his pressure and work rate but you can definitely say that he has the heart of a true warrior by slugging it out with Margarito even with a broken hand. Joshua Clottey is like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates…. “You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Full Arsenal, Just Need to Use it Well
Joshua Clottey is a well-rounded fighter but I cannot call him a complete fighter just yet. He is skilled as he is tough but there’s something lacking. Still, I won’t be surprised to see him step up, improve, and complete his game. He will need to reach that level, which I think he’s very capable of doing, in order to beat Manny Pacquiao in