GL: Congrats on landing the Pacquiao fight (on March 13th, Joshua Clottey challenges Manny Pacquiao in Arlington, Texas). Can you give us some thoughts on this opportunity?
Joshua Clottey: "It's a very, very great opportunity. I have to thank God for it. I have to take advantage of it."
GL: You were in Ghana when you first heard the news. How did you hear about it and what was your reaction when you found out?
Joshua Clottey: "Well, you know I went to one of the websites and I saw that I would be fighting Pacquiao. I was like, are these people kidding or what. I found out from the fightnews and I realized that it's true. I was like wow, this is a big opportunity fighting with the best pound for pound fighter out there now. I'm so happy about it and you know I'm really, really happy because it's not easy for a fighter to fight with Pacquiao because of the way that boxing is now."
GL: Why do you believe you have what it takes to defeat Manny Pacquiao?
JC: "You see I have a lot of things to beat Manny Pacquiao. I have my defense in there and I'm a strong welterweight. He's fighting with one of the best out there and I think I have everything to beat him and when we get to the ring, I will prove it to everybody."
GL: Are you surprised he chose to fight you?
JC: "I know about that and I'm surprised that he choosed to fight me. But things happen for a reason. I didn't know I was going to fight Pacquiao in the first place early 2010. Second, it sounds like a miracle. If I get to the ring and I beat him, it's like a miracle and everything happens for a reason."
GL: You obviously feel you won the Cotto fight and that performance had to help you get this fight.
JC: "I thought so. When I fought Cotto I thought I won the fight because my punches connected more than his did. He threw a lot of punches, but I'm blocking them. I know that they might give the fight to him, but the Top Rank people and Bob Arum saw that I won the fight and maybe they don't want to give it to me. Maybe they already had plans of Pacquiao and Cotto. Pacquiao is finished with Cotto and he's choosing me to fight and it's a very big advantage for me."
GL: What are your thoughts on the Mayweather fight and Pacquiao not going through with the additional testing? Do you think Pacquiao was correct for saying no?
JC: "You see Leon, I haven't said nothing about those two guys because those two guys are my best two fights out there at the moment. I love Mayweather so much, I love Manny Pacquiao so much. I don't know the reason why Mayweather wants Pacquiao to do that test and I don't know the reason why Pacquiao don't want to do it. I don't have much to say about that issue, but everything happens for a reason at the end of the day the fight landed on me. I love both of them and the way they fight and maybe somewhere down the line the three of us can fight with each other."
GL: Where will you train for this fight?
JC: "I think I need to train in a camp and I was thinking Florida would be the best for me at the moment, but my manager is looking to get a place. In the meantime I'll be training the Bronx."
GL: Will Joshua Clottey knock Manny Pacquiao out?
JC: "It depends you see, because people think Pacquiao is a smaller guy, but he's fighting the bigger guys and at the end of the day, he beats some of them and he knocks some of them out. I can't tell myself I'm going in there and Pacquiao is the smaller guy so I think I'm going to knock him out. I don't think like that. This is boxing and one punch can make a big difference. God-willing I knock him out, then my money will start coming crazy. I can't tell you I will knock Pacquiao out, but I will make so may differences in the ring."
GL: By saying he's fighting bigger guys and knocking them out, obviously you're going to go in there respecting his power?
JC: 'Exactly right. One thing that surprised Cotto with his fight with Pacquiao. Cotto thought he was a small guy and he doesn't think Pacquiao is going to hurt him with a punch. But this is boxing and our chin is there to be hit and if the right punch gets to that position. I really respect Pacquiao's power and going into the ring knowing that is going to help me a lot."
GL: Closing thoughts?
JC: "I really want to thank Pacquiao for giving me this big opportunity. Top Rank. Bob Arum and Todd duBoef for giving me this big opportunity and I really want to thank you for me and you coming back to Boxingtalk again."