Joshua Clottey's PROFILE
* International Boxing Federation Welterweight Title (2008-09)
Joshua Clottey's Amateur and Personal Background:
Joshua Cottley started boxing when he was six years old. He was also a soccer player before he became a boxer.
Clottey said "I had 49 amateur fights, with four losses. I reached the quarter-finals in the Commonwealth Games."
He is single, but has one daughter. She is nine years old and lives in Ghana. Clottey is a Muslim, so he gave her daughter a Muslim name, Zeenat Clottey.
Joshua is a member of Ghana's "Ga" tribe, which includes Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, Ben "Wonder" Tackie, and many of Ghana's other top boxers...
Boxing News editor Claude Abrams visited Accra several years ago and reported: "Imagine an uneven, open concrete yard about 20 feet square, the floor crumbling in parts and enclosed on three sides, one by the outer wall of a house, the other two by a patched-together fence made of wood and corrugated iron sheets.
"When bare, there's scant evidence that this is or has been the playground to generations of fighting men. There's no roof to keep out the rain or hold back the sun, but how it comes alive when the warriors arrive. The floor becomes cluttered as boxers clamor for room, elbowing each other to throw their blows while children clamber onto the frail walls and perch wide-eyed, like pigeons on a rooftop. There are benches neatly arranged at the entrance, which are quickly filled to capacity. The village has arrived!
"This is Bukom, probably no greater than the area of three football pitches, situated a short drive from the Ghanian capital Accra, where the average life expectancy is around 50, the streets do not have names and the red and dusty roads are so uneven that car passengers would be advised to wear crash hats.
"Scores of young boys and girls in bare feet scramble and fill the dried, earthy streets. They, too, know how to shadow box, how to hold their hands high and to throw punches.
"Ike Quartey was once one of these smiling youngsters - skinny and half-clothed - before he became "The Bazooka"... [He was born] in a rickety structure of little consequence or value which hovers like a tree-house above a pathway on the way to the gym, but now it's a landmark, a must for those perusing the "where to go and visit" guide of Bukom.
"This is a village so immersed in boxing that at any given time during the day there will be a fighter in training and the square will, for most of the year, be occupied by a ring.
"Ghanian fighters...essentially fight in the same patient, methodical manner, knowing when and how to strike. Emotionally, when competing, they appear cold, their eyes focused, their concentration unwavering, though their characters can be warm and almost gentle.
"It is a paradox of almost schizophrenic proportions, though Ghanians are, by nature, proud and polite and perform their tasks neatly, down to the woman in the street who will walk with perfect precision balancing a car battery on her head.
"Here lies an untapped fountain of boys and men who have declared a willingness to fight for survival..."
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