Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Clinton Woods Confident of Regaining Title

Clinton Woods prepared well for his title bout on Friday night against Tavoris Cloud.

Former IBF 175-pound belt-holder Clinton Woods believes Friday will be the day that he regains his light heavyweight title belt. Woods, from Sheffield, England will face Tavoris Cloud for the vacant IBF title.

On Wednesday, Woods appeared fit, confident and relaxed. The veteran, with a record of 42-4-1, 24 KOs lost his title to Antonio Tarver in April 2008. But he feels that the stars are now aligned for him to reclaim his belt.

“I know I'm going to be standing there with the belt in my arms at the end of the night,” said Woods. “I'm very confident and I'm looking forward to Friday night. On Saturday morning I'll be waking up with my wife and all of it will have been worth it. All the sacrifice, all the hard training, all the bad times I've had in boxing, obviously when I lost to Tarver, all of that is going to be behind me. I'm going to wake up champ.”

Woods has had a career where he had to eke out victories and come back from tough losses. He engaged in three close fights with Glen Johnson in which he drew, lost and won. His first title shot came seven years ago against Roy Jones, Jr. and he was outclassed from the beginning before losing in in six one-sided rounds. Woods made four successful title defenses before losing to Tarver and nearly retired after that loss. Now, at age 37, he's decided to give his boxing career one last try.

“This is a great time for me to win back the world title. Everybody knows what happened to me in Tampa [against Tarver] and that wasn't me that night. Everything went wrong for that fight,” explained Woods. “I've come home, back to England, contemplated on retiring. But I've got a new trainer, I've come back and everything feels great, everything has gone good and I'm just ready to go.”

Cloud hopes that he will be re-enacting this scene after his fight against Woods concludes.

Woods will be facing off against Florida native Tavoris Cloud, 28, who is a relative unknown that brings a record of 19-0, 18 KOs into the title fight. Cloud turned pro five years ago and has only boxed 55 rounds in the paid ranks and he has never fought past the 10th round.

“I haven't really seen much of Tavoris,” said Woods. “I've seen a few videos of him. He looks like a very good fighter, exciting, punches hard. But he hasn't been in with many top pedigree fighters. I've been in with a lot of world-class fighters. I know what it's all about and I'm just looking forward to the night.”

The fight will be televised on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Woods believes the fans who see the fight will witness an entertaining affair.

“I think the fans are going to be the ones who enjoy this fight,” said Woods. “Because I don't run, he seriously doesn't run. We're going to be standing in the middle of that ring and we're going to be slugging it out and it's going to be an exciting fight.”

As it currently stands, the oddsmakers have installed Cloud as the significant favorite to win the IBF title.

August 2009

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