Clinton Woods: What Next?
By Scott Gilfoid: IBF light heavyweight champion Clinton Woods (41-4-1, 24 KOs) lost a lot more than his title last Saturday night in a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision loss to challenger Antonio Tarver, he also lost a lot of respect from many fans in the boxing community along with a potential huge paying bout with the undefeated super middleweight star Joe Calzaghe, who had been discussing the idea of fighting Woods next after Calzaghe got through with his bout with Bernard Hopkins. Now, however, Woods not only loses that option but also his title to boot. At 35, Woods couldn’t have picked a worse time to put on an absolutely dreadful performance in the ring.
It was especially strange because Woods, normally an active fighter who throws lots of punches in his bouts, walked around as if he was star struck, seeming to lack to will to pull the trigger on his punches no matter how much his corner urged him to do it. As things are now, Woods finds himself in the predicament of having to work his way back into a title shot which isn’t going to happen anytime soon. None of the current light heavyweight champions have any reason to give him a shot at one of their titles, meaning that he’s going to have to bide his time for a year, possibly longer and work his way back up to a title match.
The question remains whether Woods, not considered to be the best of the light heavyweight champions, has enough left to make it back into title contention. I can’t see him beating Chad Dawson or Zsot Erdei. His best chance would attempt to line himself up for a shot at the WBA light heavyweight title, which looks to have the weakest field by far in the division.
At the moment, the title is vacant and lacking any well known stars at the top of the division. Perhaps whoever emerges as the champion, perhaps Yuri Barashian, might want to give Woods a shot in order to give himself more clout if he were able to defeat Woods. Anyone that watched how Woods fight against Tarver last Saturday much have a good feeling about being able to beat Woods as well. He really fought awful, and Tarver didn’t have to do much in order to beat him.
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