Boxing

World Title Double-Header Set For August 28th - Woods-Cloud And Urango-Bailey

by James Slater - Scheduled to go out live on ESPN 2 on August 28th, are two quality IBF world title fights. The double-header, from The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, will see former champion Clinton Woods and unbeaten contender Tavoris Cloud battling it out for the vacant IBF 175-pound championship, and also in action will be defending IBF light-welterweight ruler Juan Urango defending against hard-hitting Randall Bailey.

Two good fights, then, with both match-ups having a fair to good chance of ending up being decided by a KO..

Woods, 42-4-1(24) and Cloud, 19-0(18) have been set to meet for some time, and now, with the fight being held in America, younger man and bigger puncher Cloud appears to have himself an advantage. 37-year-old Woods has never won a fight on US soil - having been stopped by the great Roy Jones Junior in 2002 and having been soundly out-pointed by Antonio Tarver last year - and his 27-year-old rival will be looking to make sure the former champ's bad luck streak runs to three.

However, this fight is a very tough one to pick, based largely on the fact that both men have been out of the ring for so long. An inactive fighter can be an unpredictable fighter, and Cloud will not have fought for over a year come August 28th, and Woods will have seen just one night of action in over sixteen months come bell one in Florida. Who knows what will happen if one of the two fighters comes out and jumps right on the other. Suffering from rust as they both will surely be, anything could happen.

Providing the fight does not end with a quick mugging, though, a long and hard night looks to be on the cards for both men. Woods' chin has been proven at the highest level, while Cloud's hunger and physical strength appear legit. Not to mention his punching power. True, Cloud has yet to beat a genuine world class foe who wasn't on the down side, but his bombs sure could cause Woods problems if they land. But again, Wood's beard is well proven, with only Jones Junior ever having made a dent in it. Will the heavily-muscled Cloud's stamina hold up if Woods takes him into the later rounds?

A distance fight looks a good pick, and this fight is pretty much a pick 'em affair. Woods may well have cause for complaint, but I feel he will go home with a Split decision loss attached to his record.

As for Urango, 21-2-1(16) and Bailey, 39-6(35), their fight also looks a tough one to pick. Bailey, as with Cloud, will be the definite puncher, whereas, as with Woods, Urango is the man who will enter battle with the more reliably proven chin. Never stopped, southpaw Urango, coming off his clear points loss to Andre Berto up at 147-pounds, will feel he can take anything six-year older man Bailey cares to throw at him. And maybe "The Iron Twin" will be able to take the best shots of "The Knockout King." If he can, former two-time champ Bailey may be in trouble.

A great, "steel chin Vs. lethal punching power" combination, Urango-Bailey may be the pick of the two interesting fights. Of course, Urango can bang some himself, as he proved when starching Carlos Wilfredo Virches in highlight reel fashion last April. And with his own, at times not all that reliable chin, Bailey may well find himself under fire if he cannot get his man out of there pretty quickly.

The pick here is Urango via close decision, but a man possessing the sheer power Bailey has in his gloves can never be written off.

Both Cloud-Woods and Urango-Bailey are fights worth watching, and in the case of three men - Woods, Bailey and Urango - a loss would all but signal the end of a career.

Article posted on 17.07.2009



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