Clottey Claims He Deliberately Lost Pacquiao Fight

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Former welterweight world titlist Joshua Clottey has made the eye-catching claim that he intentionally tanked his 2010 effort against Manny Pacquiao because of a contract dispute with his then manager.

Speaking to Ghana’s Joy News, the Accra, Ghana native told his story of a manager who was taking too much, a contract that was stifling, and his non-effort in the biggest fight of his career.

“The manager had already accepted $1 million as payment,” the now-45-year-old Clottey said. “I came in and negotiated $1.35 million. It was a fight I was supposed to get $2 million as the pay. The pay-per-view was $100 for each viewer but he negotiated [only] $3 on my behalf out of the $100. Even with the $3, I could only earn my share after 300,000 buys. So if 300,001 people buy, I will earn only $3.”

“So you would basically fight for free?” the interviews asked the former champ.

“Yeah,” Clottey replied. “I tried negotiating but they claimed if I can’t fight I should leave so I had to take the fight. Meanwhile, my manager was making 33 percent profit from each pay-per-view income including the fight money. I regret signing with that manager. I was supposed to make more money. I was not happy about the Pacquiao fight because I had three years on my contract with my manager so I decided to blow it up [put in a non-effort]. I even went to his office to negotiate for him to take 25 percent so I take 8 percent but he said no.”

Looking back, most knowledgeable fight fans did consider it strange how passive and unwilling to engage Clottey was at the time. Fiery previous efforts against Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto painted the picture of an elite-level fighter who was all about going to war. Against Pacquiao, though, he simply didn’t look like his usual self. He’d go on to lose just about every round of the 12-round affair and, in doing so, pretty much sabotaged the rest of his career, which would end seven fights later.

At the time, here’s what this writer posted about the surprisingly one-sided snoozer, in a recap published at The Boxing Tribune, titled: “Pacquiao Has His Way With Clottey:”

“51,000 attendees at Dallas Cowboys Stadium and those watching via pay per view almost had to check if there wasn’t a chain hanging from behind Joshua Clottey’s back as he played the role of heavy bag to Manny Pacquiao on Saturday in their bout for Pacquiao’s WBO welterweight title.

The bout was pretty much fought at the same pace throughout with Pacquiao (51-3-2, 38 KOs) darting in and throwing quick shots at a Joshua Clottey (35-4, 20 KOs) who seemed more than content to block those shots with hands held high while throwing nothing in return.

Most vexing about the fight was that, on the rare occasions where Clottey did let his hands go, he had success and seemed more than able to do some real damage to the Filipino. Unfortunately for Clottey and his fans, the fighter from Ghana never really chose to put in the work to take the welterweight crown from defending champion, Pacquiao.

Final scorecards correctly represented the one-sided nature of the bout: 120-108, 119-109, 119-109 all for Manny Pacquiao. The Boxing Tribune also had it scored 119-109.”

Boxing fans will never know if Clottey did, intentionally, lose the Pacquiao bout. But if he DID and it was a maneuver to get out of an exploitative contract, he really didn’t do himself any favors with that ploy.

The Ghanaian would never really get another main stage, big-money shot, mostly because of the bad taste left in fans’ mouths from his poor pay-per-view showing. Although he’d go 6-1 in his last seven post-Pacquiao bouts and have a couple of main event showings, he could never get his hands on another big opportunity and he just sort of faded away from the boxing scene.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing,, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: [email protected]

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