Jason ‘2 Booth’ reckons Leigh Wood is tough enough to follow in his footsteps
Booth has had 25 title fights in a career that has brought him major honours at four weights – and Wood steps up to championship level in front of his home crowd next week. Wood will battle Ian Bailey for the vacant British Masters featherweight title in the top-of-the-bill fight at Clifton Leisure Centre a week on Saturday.
It promises to be a tough fight for the 24 year-old from Gedling.
Bailey is a never-say-die scrapper who last year upset Lewis Pettitt to claim the vacant Southern Area title, while Wood has mostly had things his own way in his unbeaten eight-fight professional career.
Booth also boxes on the show and is convinced Wood will send Nottingham fight fans home happy.
“I sparred Leigh when he was a teenager and he was a tough, tough kid,” said Booth. “He’s got all the skills, but he can dig deep as well when he has to.
“I’ve used my ability to get through title fights, but there are times when you have to tough it out as well.
“I had my first title fight when I was 19 years old and I was so battered and bruised afterwards that it took me two weeks to recover.
“Leigh hasn’t come through those sorts of fights yet, but from what I saw of him when we sparred, I’m sure he will. He can definitely be a champion.
“If they want me to fight him, they can forget it !”
Booth has been a professional since June, 1996 – and the 35 year-old says he’s still in love with boxing.
“I’ve been there, done it and got the T-shirt, so there’s nothing left to prove,” said ‘2 Smooth.’
“I’m just boxing because I enjoy it. I love the buzz. I wake up excited every morning.
“I’ve been saying I’m going to retire for three years, but I always end up boxing again.
“I still feel like I’m 18 years old !”
Booth hasn’t boxed in front of his home crowd since February, 2010 – and expects to have plenty of support at Clifton Leisure Centre.
“I haven’t fought in Nottingham for a long time and I think a lot of people thought I had retired,” he said, “so they were surprised when I asked them if they wanted tickets !”
Former British cruiserweight champion Shane McPhilbin also boxes on the show, along with Terry Maughan.