Woods v Johnson III – Can Clinton Get The Win This Time?

29.06.06 – By James Slater: Well, it looks like the third meeting between Clinton Woods and Glen Johnson will be staged in the Sheffield man’s own country once again. With September the 2nd currently being touted as the date for the bout, it seems Woods will once again have the benefit of not having to travel to America to fight. Not that this helped him in the two fights with “The Road Warrior” that have already taken place. Fight one ended in a highly disputed draw – which left Johnson feeling somewhat bitter, to say the least. While Glen dominated the return fight to win a clear-cut points verdict. Both encounters were staged in Sheffield, but as I’ve said, this didn’t help the younger man in Woods. The question is, can the current IBF light heavyweight ruler finally get the result he so craves?

Clinton has said many times, that he will not feel like the real champion until he defeats Glen Johnson. His performances of late suggest that he may well get what he wants this time. Without disrespecting Johnson – after all he could be excused for holding the necessity of a third match with a man he has already beaten twice already ( at least in his own mind) with more than a touch of contempt – Clinton has looked the better fighter just lately, based on the last three performances by the pair of them anyway. Has Johnson deteriorated, while Woods has improved? Clinton has certainly improved, that much is without doubt – his superb wins over Rico Hoye, Julio Gonzalez and Jason DeLisle can attest to that. But has Glen gone downhill, at least somewhat? He did look quite old and tired in his second fight with Antonio Tarver – losing a decision after winning the first meeting with “The Magic man.” Since then he has beaten George Khalid Jones and Richard Hall. Both were good wins, but Clinton, I believe, has the edge over him in latest performances.

Woods looked like a different fighter in his last outing. With a lethal uppercut added to his arsenal, Clinton destroyed the tough Australian Jason DeLisle in six impressive rounds. He credits a new diet and nutritionist with his newfound strength and energy. What is beyond debate is the fact that he looked a vastly fresher fighter in this bout than he did in either of his battles with Johnson. Some would no doubt argue that the pressure and fighting style of “Gentleman Glen” caused him to look so tired and weakened. However, if there is substance to Woods’ claims – that he was beaten when boxing way below his newborn potential – then it could be a long night for his challenger come September.

The final venue has not yet been decided, but Clinton has said that he cares not where the fight is held, just so long as it is held. He predicts a KO win this time. And while the U.K appears to be the frontrunner with regards to which country the fight is to be fought in – I think that wherever the two men fight, Clinton will emerge as the victor this time around. I don’t see the KO he does, however. Instead, I sense his improved strength, stamina and punch power will be enough to get him home for a points win.

Clinton Woods to keep his IBF title!

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