by James Slater: Clinton Woods admits he boxed a poor fight against Antonio Tarver back on April 12th. The 35 year old was so disappointed with his own performance he even considered retiring from the sport. But now having had time to reflect, Woods may just change his mind. Telling his local newspaper, “The Star” what he is thinking, Clinton had the following things to say..
“I’m still thinking things over, ” Woods told the paper. “I don’t like to make excuses, but I had a bad four or five weeks run up to that fight [with Tarver]. I had flu but carried on training and the doctor told me that must have weakened me. My training camp had other problems, especially in America,” Woods also said.
Despite his having the flu, Woods was still able to make it to the final bell against “The Magic Man,” something he is rightly proud of.
“I boxed poorly against Tarver but still went twelve rounds with someone regarded as perhaps the best. He marked me a bit, but I was never hurt,” Clinton stated. “So I don’t know – but that fight might not be the last you see of me,” the Sheffield fighter closed with.
I for one would like to see Woods back. He is, taking nothing at all from Antonio Tarver, a better fighter than he looked on April 12th. Having flu going into a fight, big or small, can be extremely detrimental to any boxer. In hindsight Clinton should probably have pulled out. And I don’t for one minute think Woods is making up a story when he claims he had flu. That’s just not Woods’ style. Basically, if he says he had flu, he had flu.
It will be hard for Woods to get back where he was, however. After becoming a world champion on his fourth attempt, will Woods be able to get himself a fifth crack at glory? It’s possible, but the odds are dead against it. But having said that, there could be a way back for Clinton all the same. Would, for instance, his arch-rival Glen Johnson fancy a fourth fight with the Brit? Beat Johnson again, and Woods is right back in the big picture.
That scenario may tempt one of the other belt-holders to give Woods a shot, but chances of Tarver granting Woods a return fight are very, very slim. But as Woods says himself, it may not be all over for him just yet.