Claggett plans to learn from Armenta fight

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:50 PM ET

CALGARY — Steve Claggett treats every bout as a learning experience.

Good thing, too, because his next opponent — Mexico’s Martin Armenta — has enough experience to write a book on boxing.

“He’s been in there with a lot of guys. He’s the most experienced guy I’ve ever fought,” Claggett said. “It’s always good to fight the guys with more knowledge, because then you learn. Everything they do, I learn from. Say he has some moves or things I’ve never seen in the ring, I’ll see them. All his experience, I’ll gain knowledge from it.

“If he had been in just five fights, he’d be a totally different guy. He’s been in 150 fights, so he knows what he’s doing. And that’s good for me, right?”

Truth be told, Claggett could teach most of his opponents a thing or two.

The 20-year-old Calgarian is currently ranked as the second-best lightweight fighter on Canadian soil. After climbing into the ring with Armenta during Saturday’s pro-am card at the Bowness Sports Plex, he’s slated to participate in a a four-man mini-tournament to determine who’ll claim Canada’s vacant lightweight title.

He’s the least experienced fighter in the mix for national bragging rights, but certainly isn’t lacking the confidence to get his mitts on the belt.

“If you’re thinking that people are going to beat you, you’re not going to win,” Claggett said. “I go in there and I know I’m going to beat these guys. I’ve been training my whole life for it. I know they have a little more experience, but I’m working on it. The advantages they have on me, I think I can make up for with heart.

“I can’t wait to get there in with those guys because I know I’m going to beat them. It’s just a matter or time.”

It’s been quite a climb for Claggett, who traded his skates for a sparring partner about eight years ago and hasn’t looked back since, cobbling together a 7-0-1 record with three knockouts.

A product of Teofista Boxing Gym in Calgary, Claggett isn’t exactly a household name just yet, but he’s optimistic that’s about to change.

“I always knew that I had a calling. I knew there was something I was going to do, but I didn’t know it was boxing,” Claggett said. “My first amateur fight was really tough. I got hit a couple times really hard and it looked like I was losing the fight, but I dug down and pulled it out of me. After the fight, I remember I was so dehydrated I could barely stand up, but the feeling of winning, that feeling was the best.

“Right then, I knew this is what I was going to do for a long, long time.”

wes.gilbertson@sunmedia.ca


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