The Dragon Is Rising

Two-time Canadian welterweight champion Steve ‘The Dragon’ Claggett is a hot item coming off a banner year in 2016. The all-action Calgary, Alberta, native seized the spotlight with back to back headlining fights on US network television and is now poised make a run at a top ten ranking and coveted world title shot.

The road to success hasn’t been an easy one for Steve Claggett. Born in Canada of half Chinese descent, the fan-favourite 27-year-old spent the early stages of his career scrapping for every inch of respect while residing in an area of Canada outside the mainstream spotlight. For many years he fought in relative obscurity and then, after building up his record, spent the last several years fielding nothing but B-side, short notice offers to come in as an opponent on several high profile cards.

Steve Claggett is on the rise.
Steve Claggett is on the rise.

Last year his fortunes changed as he secured back-to-back bouts as a headliner in Las Vegas, fighting twice in the main event on CBS Sports in the acclaimed “Knockout Night at the D” series. In his last outing in September 2016, Claggett moved to 24-4-1 (16 KOs) as a professional, handing heralded California light welterweight Emanuel Robles his first pro defeat to capture the vacant WBA-NABA USA super lightweight title. Prior to that he was seen last April stalking and breaking down highly rated Chris van Heerden over ten rounds, only to be robbed of the decision nearly everyone at ringside, from the CBS broadcast crew to promoter Roy Jones Jr., had him cleanly winning.

The two headlining bouts on US network television in 2016 established the Canadian pugilist as top contender at 140 pounds (where he now campaigns), and attested to his TV-friendly, all-action style.

Claggett is now poised to make a run for a world title and firmly believes his last two fights in 2016 served notice to promoters around the world that he is a valuable asset ready to partner up with an outfit that will help guide him to a coveted championship bout.

“I’m a total free agent now,” Claggett said from his Calgary base this week. “I’ve spent years fighting my way through short-notice offers with the deck constantly stacked against me. I’ve shown the world what I can do headlining twice on CBS last year. Now all I need is a promoter who believes in me to partner up with — someone who’s going to help me get a fair shake and take that next step. I’m an investment, and I’m ready to pay off.”

Currently training with Goldenstars Boxing Team in Calgary, Alberta, Claggett has been reinvigorated under the tutelage of renowned Canadian-based Russian coach Vlad Goldenstein. After campaigning his entire career at welterweight, often fighting naturally stronger foes, Claggett looked as healthy and sharp as ever in his last outing, which happened to be his first fight at 140 pounds since the early stages of his career. Junior welterweight is a division he feels comfortable at, and the move south will allow him to exploit a punching power advantage.

Steve Claggett with Roy Jones Jr.
Steve Claggett with Roy Jones Jr.

Over the last five years, Steve Claggett has garnered name recognition fighting all over the world, from the Philippines to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. He has spent several months as a paid sparring partner for former world champions Zab Judah and Jessie Vargas, and he was a staple at Las Vegas’ famed Mayweather Boxing Club for many years. With his Chinese heritage and dynamic, pressure style, the Canadian warrior feels he would be a valued addition to any promotional outfit looking to add rising, world-level contenders to their stable.

Interested parties can reach out to Steve Claggett and his team directly at sdragonboxing@gmail.com.     — Robert Portis

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