Steve “The Dragon” Claggett
Blood-and-guts Canadian junior welterweight Steve “The Dragon” Claggett is on the verge of becoming a legitimate world title contender.
Since the ultra-aggressive Claggett moved back down one division to junior welterweight, Claggett is 4-1 (1 KO), including three title-winning 10-round decisions over previously unbeaten opponents, Yves Ulysse, Jr. (14-0) for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) North American super lightweight title, Emmanuel Robles (15-0-1) for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) NABA USA super lightweight crown, and Petros Ananyan (13-0-2) for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) International super lightweight championship..
“Me and my team aren’t afraid to fight anybody,” Claggett said. “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.”
Claggett made his pro debut September 12, 2008, winning a four-round majority decision over Brandon Carlick in Edmonton, Canada.
Though his first dozen professional fights, Clagget was undefeated with an 11-0-1 (6 KOs), his most significant victory a third-round stoppage of previously undefeated Jose Julio Mendoza Lopez (7-0, 3 KOs), at home in Calgary, for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth Intercontinental super lightweight title.
Claggett traveled halfway around the world in his next fight to challenge hometown favorite Romeo Jakosalem (10-4-1) in Cebu City, Philippines. Steve dropped his Filipino opponent twice in the third round, but he was stopped in the eighth round, suffering his first pro loss.
Four consecutive victories followed for Claggett, including his first professional fight in the United States (Ontrario, CA), in which his opponent, Ricky Duenas (12-1) was unable to continue after four rounds. However, Alexandre Lep[elley (10-1-1) won a controversial eight-round split decision over Claggett on March 2, 2013, in Edmonton.
A sixth-round technical knockout of Pail Bzdel (4-2-1) set the stage for Claggett to face
Francesco Cotroni (7-2) for the vacant Canadian welterweight title on September 13, 2012, in Edmonton. Claggett registered a sixth-round technical knockout, adding the Canadian title belt to his expanding display case.
Claggett, who is partially of Chinese descent, closed out 2013 in style, taking an eight-round unanimous decision over Italian-born, Hungarian-based Giuseppe Lauri (55-15), the former European champion.
In 2014, Claggett knocked out both his opponents, Gyula Vajda (15-4) and Rogelio Casteneda (26-21-3), both in Calgary, in the second and third rounds, respectively.
Up next for Claggett was the toughest opponent he had faced to date, 26-0 Konstantin Ponomarev (now 32-0), of Russia. Claggett’s second fight in the U.S. (Bloomfield, Colorado), unfortunately, wasn’t any more successful than his U.S. debut, resulting in a loss by way of an eighth-round unanimous decision (78-74, 77-75 X 2).
Claggett bounced back with a 10-round unanimous decision victory against Tebor Brosch (7-6-5), successfully defending his Canada welterweight title, followed by a third-round stoppage of Stephanie Benito (22-19-3), and he then captured the vacant Canada Professional Boxing Council (CPBC) with a third-round knockout of Stuart McLellan (12-1-3).
The third time wasn’t the charm for Claggett, whose third fight in the states (Las Vegas) resulted in a questionable 10-round majority decision loss to South African Chris van Heerden (23-2-1), who had just extended rising star Errol Spence eight rounds, albeit in a knockout loss, in his previous fight.
Claggett changed his entire team, decided to drop back down to junior welterweight, and came back to Las Vegas five months later determined to break his winless streak in America. The Canadian succeeded, winning the NABA USA title via a 10-round split decision versus previously unbeaten Nobles.
In 2017, Claggett defeated Juan Bedolla Orozco (15-5-2) in Calgary, silencing his opponent in round five. He then traveled to Montreal and upset the previously mentioned Ulysse, Jr. in his backyard, Montreal, to win the IBF North American super lightweight crown and elevate the Calgary fighter at a much higher level of competition.
A true road warrior, Claggett went to Boston to fight Danny O’Connor (29-3) on St. Patrick’s Day (2018), and the Chinese-Canadian fighter dropped O’Connor in round seven. The hometown favorite came back to take a 10-round unanimous decision.
Next up for Claggett was a trip to Toronto this past July for the SUPERBOX Live main event, in which Claggett overcame a first-round knockdown by Ananyan to win a close 10-round unanimous decision (95-94 X 3), collecting the IBF International super lightweight title in the process.
Claggett is promoted by KO Night Boxing LLC, managed by Matheny and trained by Vlad Goldstein.