KO Night Boxing LLC announced it has signed popular Canadian junior welterweight Steve "The Dragon" Claggett to an exclusive promotional contract.
The Las Vegas-based company also has 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and undefeated Wichita flyweight, Nico Hernandez (3-0), 2 KOs), among its growing stable of professional boxers.
The 28-year-old Claggett (26-4-1, 17 KOs), fighting out of Calgary, is a fan-favorite because of his aggressive, non-stop style. Since the ultra-aggressive Claggett moved back down one division to junior welterweight, he is a perfect 3-0 (1 KO).
Those wins include a pair of title-winning 10-round decisions over previously unbeaten opponents, Yves Ulysse, Jr. (14-0) for the vacant IBF North American super lightweight title, as well as Emmanuel Robles (15-0-1) for the vacant WBA/NABA USA super lightweight crown.
"I'm excited to be signed by John Andersen and KO Night Boxing," Claggett said. "There were no guarantees (without a promoter). I've always had the talent but never the structure. I'll have that now, though. I
"t was always difficult making fights with long layoffs, dates falling through, and offers on short notice. I've only been able to show a little of what I'm capable. All I've ever wanted is a fair shake and this opportunity will allow me to show what I can do. This year is going to be big for me and KO Night Boxing.
"I'm just approaching my prime. I've only been working with my trainer, Vlad Goldenstein, for a little more than a year, but I'm 3-0 with him and have won two belts. I'm an old-school fighter, action-packed and who brings the pace. This is a great for me and my boxing career."
"We're taking a big step in the right direction by signing Steve," Claggett's new promoter Andersen commented. "I'm excited. Steve deserves this opportunity and we're going to deliver for him.
"Steve is an action fighter, always coming forward, and he hasn't been in a bad fight during the three years I've known him. He took a risk but really opened some eyes with his performance against Ulysse.
"What an accomplishment fighting an undefeated fighter in his backyard. He took a big risk and got a big win. And now he's beaten the man [Ulysse] who has beaten the man (21-0 Cletus Seldin, WDEC10, Dec. 16, 2017 on HBO). Steve's undefeated on this run as a junior welterweight, beating two previously unbeaten opponents, and he deserves more recognition and a shot at a big fight."
"Steve's an animal in the squared circle and the farthest thing from it outside the ring," Claggett's manager Max Matheny added. "He has all the attributes of a champion. His boxing IQ and ability to adapt under pressure makes Claggett a serious challenge. He can beat anybody in the division on any given night.
"We've had a multitude of promotional offers to consider at the end of a strong 2017 and are very excited to align with KO Night Boxing. They are going to give us the opportunities to show the world how good 'The Dragon' really is. His signature is turning into an autograph in 2018, mark my words."
The boxing irony is that Ulysse, not Claggett, is now world ranked. Considering the half-Chinese, half-European Claggett beat Ulysse in his Montreal hometown, Steve proved that he'll fight anybody, anywhere, unlike many fighters who make that claim but don't back it up.
"Me and my team aren't afraid to fight anybody," said Claggett "Bring it on! I'm willing to fight in hostile territory against an A-side fighter. We don't pick and choose. Too many fighters pad their records, but that only upsets fans, and delays fights. I'm looking for tough fights to judge how much I've grown. I'd love to fight the top guys.
"My fight with Ulysse was my biggest but not best fight. I thought I boxed a little robotic and fell back into some old habits. I'd give myself a B- for that fight. I got the win and put on a great show that was fast paced. Ulysse and Robles box, run and move. I'd like an opponent who comes to me, stays in the pocket, and fights. I know it'll be a helluva fight."
Maybe Claggett's next fight will be on a higher platform, perhaps, against a legitimate fighter's fighter like Steve.