Joshua Clottey Blames His Performance On Bad Stew And Diarrhea, Demonstrating How To Go From Disappointing To A Joke

If someone asks you a question and your answer is “bad stew and diarrhea,” you’re almost certainly in a bad place at that moment in your life. Consider that while Joshua Clottey might wind up as much as $2.5 million richer after his non-effort Saturday in a loss to Manny Pacquiao, boxing fans have been wondering, “Why the hell didn’t that guy at least try to fight a little?” Clottey’s excuse about why he was so terrible isn’t going to enhance his rep.

Clottey, claims that he ate some bad stew after the weigh-in Friday –specifically, banku and okro stew, which is, from what I’ve read, a popular dish in his homeland of Ghana. And then Clottey spent a lot of time in the bathroom.

“When I ate after the [weigh-in] I was ‘running;’ the midnight I went to toilet almost like four times; in the morning I went to toilet almost like three times; when we went to the dressing room I went to toilet like three times,” he explained.

This wouldn’t be the first time a diarrhea was offered to explain a non-performance. On the varying list of explanations for why Roberto Duran quit against Sugar Ray Leonard in the famous “no mas” fight, diarrhea was floated, although someone may just have mixed up a couple different Duran tales. (Floated. I wrote that without thinking about it. I’m going to leave it, despite my virtual non-interest in scatological jokes.)

Do you know what I learned from researching this blog entry? Apparently besides the frequent cause/effect relationship between stew and diarrhea, some people call diarrhea “beef stew,” I’m guessing because of the resemblance. (The picture above appears to be banku and okro stew, not the colloquial “beef stew,” in case you were worried. The dish is spelled all kinds of different ways, so I only think the picture’s accurate.)

Oh, also — the other thing I learned is that Clottey doesn’t really use his brain all that much. You can believe the excuse if you want, although excuses for losing in boxing are an almost-every-fight rite. As The Boxing Truth pointed out, diarrhea is sometimes a symptom of dehydration, and dehydration is sometimes a symptom of boxers having trouble making weight; Clottey has been struggling to make 147 for years, and may have misdiagnosed why he was “running.” But even if the excuse is legit, keep that one to yourself, pal. Just let people think you were flummoxed into throwing 800 less punches than your opponent by Pacquiao’s speed, or whatever you were saying yesterday. Yesterday people were only disappointed in you. Today they’ll be laughing at you.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.