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Clinton Woods - The Best Light heavyweight On The Planet Now?

11.09.06 - By James Slater: With his hard fought win over Glen Johnson now in the history books, is Sheffield's Clinton Woods deserving of being looked upon as the premiere light heavyweight boxing today? I think he is. He surely is in the running at the very least. With all-time great, Bernard Hopkins presumably retired for good, Woods more than likely should be rated above all other light heavies in the top ten. Though Antonio Tarver and his people will no doubt disagree, HE cannot be ranked at the very top of his division any more. Not after the drab and laboured performance he put on in his last fight, versus 'Nard, anyway..

Clinton would have no problem with that Tarver, that's for sure. And though Glen Johnson and his team disputed the loss to Woods and called for either an immediate rematch or the changing of the result in their favour, deep down "The Road Warrior" knows he must accept the loss. And with it any claims towards being the number one at 175. Decisions are rarely, if ever changed in boxing, and this one does not deserve that unusual distinction. Woods was the better man on the night and fully earned his split decision win.

So, with these names removed from the equation when pondering the question of who is the finest of the world's current light heavyweights, who else could be number one if not for Clinton? None of the ranked contenders deserve to be considered better than the reigning IBF champion at the moment. And neither does the man who once TKO'd him in six rounds.

Next up for Clinton, apparently, will be his former conqueror in Roy Jones. And though a win over the 2006/07 version of R.J will not carry with it anywhere near as much glory as a win over him a few years ago would have, gaining revenge will be ever so sweet for Clinton. Such a result will also convince a yet more critics that he is indeed an improved fighter, one who is a vastly better fighter than the Clinton Woods who last shared a ring with the man from Florida.

And after coming through that fight victorious, Clinton will more than likely square off with the current super middleweight king, Joe Calzaghe. In an all-British showdown that will generate massive interest on both sides of the Atlantic, the best 168 pound fighter in the world will swap punches with the best 175 pound fighter in the world. Victory there will surely elevate Woods as nothing else can. Joe, quite rightly, is now very much in the pound-for-pond rankings, thanks in large part to his complete trouncing of would be star, Jeff Lacy. If and when he and Clinton meet, there will not be a single uninterested observer. The fight is a genuinely mouth watering prospect, and if Woods can get a win he could very easily walk away from the sport, safe in the knowledge that his place in history is secure.

I may seem somewhat ironic, but the win that will bring with it general acceptance of his position as the number one light heavyweight in the world, seems destined to be one over a super middleweight.

Article posted on 11.09.2006



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