While unbeaten welterweight prospect Jamontay Clark had planned on rematching Ivan Golub Friday night on FS1, his mindset and game plan haven't changed now that he faces fellow up-and-comer and Detroit native Domonique Dolton.
From the moment the final bell sounded to end his eight-round war with Ivan Golub this past June, unbeaten welterweight Jamontay Clark knew two things would happen: that he would win the toughest fight of his career; and that the critics would come out in full force.
The 23-year old southpaw from Cincinnati was right on both accounts. He survived a horrific second half of the contest to take a hotly contested unanimous decision in their PBC on Bounce televised fight in Toledo, Ohio. The bout was so good that plans were in place to do it again this weekend, which was music to Clark’s ears.
It will have to come another day. Golub was scheduled for the rematch, but sustained an injury in training. Detroit’s Domonique Dolton replaced Golub. The catch weight bout takes place this Friday at Don Federal Event Center in Flint, Mich. (PBC on FS1, Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT), just 70 miles from Dolton’s hometown. It will provide Clark with a different type of adversity to overcome.
“I was ready to correct everything I didn’t like in my first fight (with Golub),” Clark said. “I wasn’t gonna leave any doubt this time around, so that still applies to fighting this guy (Dolton) near his hometown.”
Clark (12-0, 7KOs) was the one who enjoyed home state advantage in his last outing, leading some to speculate that perhaps the rising welterweight prospect received the benefit of the doubt on the final scorecards.
“Fights like the last one I had, those are great for my career development,” Clark said. “I gained a lot of experience and a whole lotta new critics I gotta prove wrong.”
Regardless, it’s the third aggressively matched bout of the year for the 6-foot-2 Cincinnati native and a chance to finish the year just as it began—with an impressive showing on FS1.
“ We live in a world where everyone expects instant results. So I just can’t win on Friday, I have to leave no doubt, which is what I was already planning to do. ” Unbeaten welterweight prospect Jamontay Clark
There is a plot twist. Whereas he was able to blend into the crowd of boxers on the show the last time out - a prospect fighting on a tripleheader topped by unbeaten lightweight champ and local (Toledo) hero Robert Easter Jr.—Clark represents the lone undefeated boxer on Friday’s tripleheader which also includes a 10-round showdown between Flint’s own Anthony Dirrell and Denis Douglin and a welterweight crossroad clash between Ryan Karl and Kareem Martin.
Needless to say, all eyes will be on Clark and what he didn’t bring to the table or make clear in his last outing.
“I like that attention… I like that type of pressure,” said Clark, a gifted amateur who claimed top honors in the 2013 National US Championship to earn a spot on USA Boxing’s world team.
“Every fight is a learning lesson for me, that's what they’re supposed to be when you’re on the way up the ranks. Of course, we live in a world where everyone expects instant results. So I just can’t win on Friday, I have to leave no doubt, which is what I was already planning to do.”
Clark will have to make a strong statement early to take the crowd out of the fight. Already giving away several inches in height and reach, an early start is one advantage Dolton does not intend to concede.
“He’s coming to my house, and I’m gonna make sure to remind him of that the moment that first bell (sounds),” said Dolton.
Dolton (19-1-1, 10KOs) is an aggressive boxer-puncher who plied his trade at the famed Kronk Gym, which forged boxers like Thomas Hearns and Mike McCallum. The gym had been shuttered and recently burned down.
“I’ve seen everything pro and amateur, and ready for anything. What he doesn’t yet understand, he’s in there with a hungry man who has no (intention) of being anyone’s opponent. I was forced to swallow that nasty taste that comes with defeat. (I’m) not about to let that happen again.”
Dolton has managed back-to-back wins following the lone two blemishes on his ledger. A 10-round draw with then-unbeaten Oscar Molina in Sept. 2015 was widely viewed as a night where Dolton was unfortunate to not have his hand raised by night’s end.
Such wasn’t the case when he stepped in with Justin DeLoach in September 2016, coming up well short in their 10-round match in Las Vegas. A pair of victories this past August has Dolton in positive spirits, shaking loose any ring rust that came with an 11-month layoff as he heads into what he considers the most important fight of his pro career.
For Clark, every fight is his most important.
“I intend to become a contender by this time next year,” Clark said. “So nights like this, fighting a tough competitor like Dolton in or near his home town, yeah it’s always gonna be a must-win situation for me. I don’t know what it’s like to lose (as a pro) and I don’t ever want to know that feeling.”