Canadian light welterweight champion Steve Claggett thought his March 2011 trip to the Philippines for his first overseas fight was already in the bag. After all, Romeo Jakosalem did not seem much of a threat if records were to be analyzed. The undefeated Claggett, whose win-loss slate registered then at 11-0-1, with 7 stoppages, looked to be the better bet than Jakosalem, whose record tallied then at 12-4, 8 KOs.
At the onset of their encounter last March 2011 as part of the Pinoy Pride 4 slugfest, the Canadian with Chinese roots looked good and ready to make a resounding victory statement. With flashy combos and unadulterated aggressiveness, Claggett easily won so many Filipino fans in a matter of minutes. By the third round, Jakosalem appeared to be on verge of becoming a knockout victim when Claggett decked him twice to the mat with vicious left hooks to the body.
However, Jakosalem survived the early assault and dished out his own brand of punishment. Both men were visibly tired but the toll was heavier on the Canadian, who never had the chance to fully acclimatize to the Philippine weather. In the 8th round, Claggett’s eroding stamina finally gave Jakosalem the opening he needed for one last barrage. Claggett took too many shots in the head and the referee stepped in to call a halt in the action.
Since then, fans have been clamoring for a rematch between the two exciting priizefighters. uJakosalem and ALA Promotions have already said they are looking for the possibility to pit both boxers this year. If a rematch is made, Jakosalem will probably stake his OPBF light welterweight crown, which he recently won last December 2011 in the undercard of Pinoy Pride X.
This writer caught up with Steve Claggett, who has only fought once after losing to Jakosalem back in March. Claggett discussed his rabid desire to even the score with his conqueror and fighting him in a neutral ground.
Kenneth Ragpala: Hello Steve! I hope you are doing good. Any fight updates?
Steve Claggett: Hi Ken! I am doing good bro. Thanks for asking. I have a couple of fights lined up. One in January 13th in Canada. Then one probably in Las Vegas in February.
KR: Romeo Jakosalem has just won the OPBF light welterweight title. Is there any chance for a rematch between the two of you with that belt on the line?
SC: I saw that fight. He’s been fighting very well. But I have been training very hard. I hope ALA Promotions can make that fight happen. I like to fight Jacko in March. It would be like, one year after, you know. I am really interested in that fight.
KR: If you get that fight, would you still like to fight in the Philippines?
SC: Anywhere in North America. If a trilogy happens, then the third would be somewhere neutral.
KR: If you have a message for Jakosalem, what would you tell him?
SC: There won’t be a repeat. My hands will do the talking.
KR: Thanks for the time Steve! You take care now.
SC: You too, Ken!
Photo credits: Philboxing.com