Thursday, August 31, 2006

Clinton Woods – Glen Johnson: Completing the Trilogy

By JE Grant

The first time we saw Clinton Woods on the world stage he was pummeled and embarrassed by the then-king of the pound-for-pound lists Roy Jones. Since that time, however, the British tough guy has proven himself one of the top ten light-heavyweights in the world.

This Saturday, in a fight not televised in the United States, Woods and former champion Glen Johnson will meet in England for Woods’ title belt.

Don’t fret about his title, which is one of the fake alphabet so-called championships infesting the sport today. In fact the last belt-wearer before Woods of the alphabet belt organization he is representing was none other than Glen Johnson. The Jamaican gained the vacant belt by decisioning Woods.

Confused? You ought to be.

You see after Johnson gained the belt, he took it upon himself to face only the best light-heavyweights in the world. This is apparently a novelty in the game. So, after a sanctioned defense against Roy Jones (which ended in a spectacular ninth-round knockout) Johnson opted to take on the true champion Antonio Tarver. By doing so he gave up his claim to the alphabet belt, paving the way for Woods to fight for and win the vacated belt.

So now you know why Woods lays claim to the dubious title. In losing his rematch against Tarver, Johnson also lost claim the real championship.

Since that time he has won solidly twice (KO10 George Jones, and W12 Richard Hall).

Of course Tarver has gone on to lose his claim to the world championship to Bernard Hopkins.

With Hopkins announced retirement; four (pretty high quality) belt-holders are vying for general recognition as the champion. Unfortunately for all of them, Glen Johnson may hold the key to all of their claims. The former champ is as rugged as anyone in the sport. Despite having ten losses on his slate he has been stopped only once, by Hopkins in a middleweight title match.

In his two fights with Woods, the first go-round ended in a draw (though most observers had Johnson winning handily), and the second was unanimously in his favor.

Woods has victories over the likes of previously undefeated Rico Hoye and former titlist Julio Gonzalez, making the 34 year-old a legitimate world-class light-heavy despite the dubious nature of his title belt. He is resilient and has gained confidence not only from his wins, but because of his ability to fight to close decisions against Johnson. Considering what Johnson did following their two meetings (beating Tarver and Jones) he feels he is in an elite class.

Both fighters will enter the ring with confidence. The home crowd will undoubtedly back Woods but the veteran Johnson will not likely be deterred.

Expect Johnson to pickup where he left off with Woods. As Woods presses, he will be met with even greater pressure. Despite not being a huge puncher, Johnson is the bigger hitter of the two and sports a better chin.

Woods’ is no pushover and he will fight hard as long as he is in the ring. His great effort, however, will not yield enough winning rounds to turn the tide on the ever charging Johnson.

The fighters will engage early and often, but as Woods fades, Johnson will pickup the pace. Look for Johnson to come on strong down the stretch and gain a very clear, albeit hard-fought decision.

Johnson by 12 round decision.


Anonymous Bradford said...

One bad night for our lad Clinton and you do not give him enough credit for the rest of his career. He lost to Roy Jones but everyone else did as well.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Well, let's face it; regardless of where you are from, Clinton has just fallen a bit shy in all the 'big ones'. He not only lost to Jones, but also to Johnson, and yes - twice. Woods is a tough, gritty, and good-but-not-great fighter, and ditto for Johnson. With Johnson a now a few years older, and Woods perhaps a few years better, I think this will be a very close fight, that will probably go the distance.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

BTW-Anyone know the odds here? All things considered (and the slight "home field advantage", possibly) I would make Johnson a SLIGHT favorite here.

This should be a good, tough, and honest fight. And I believe a close one, as well.

*Sidenote - Both of these two seem like good guys outside the ring as well.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

BTW- The best lt.hvy on the planet right now? May very well be young Chad Dawson. He's young, fast, and big. (I could see him finishing his career at 200 possibly.)

Two other guys who I think are among the best 175-pounders are actually at 168! (Calzaghe & Kessler) No doubt in my mind these two could jump up 7 pounds with out it even fazing them. (They are both very big for 168, and have trouble making the weight.)

11:15 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

BTW- An "attaboy" for slamming the alphabets again J.E. Sorry folks, but like pizza, Seinfeld, and seeing Ruiz get the crap beaten out of him - I can just never seem to get enough.


11:43 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Did you notice I completed the article without a single mention of the alphabet sanctioning body for this fight?

7:40 AM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

I never even noticed JE...;-)


I just remembered something! Woods is the bloke that has "WBC" tatooed on his right bicep! This guy must LOSE! What, did Jose 'Sillyman' go and 'brand' him or something? He should have had: "I'm a complete JACKASS MORON" tatooed on his right buttcheek and forehead as well! If he was drunk and it was an 'accident' - I don't care!!! Get rid of it, son! Get it removed, or bite the bullet and take an orbital belt-sander to it or something! If you need help, I would be glad to be of assistance, and render my services free!

Hey, I wonder how 'Clinton Boy' is going to feel about that little tatoo, when the WBC pulls one of their typical stunts, and STRIPS him of his precious little trinket, when he chooses to make a lucrative defence against Calzaghe - instead of their bogus number 1 (or number 2!) "mandatory"!!!??? HAH! What'll he think then!!! HAHAHA!!! Do I not like this guy just because of the 'tat'? YER' DAMN RIGHT! He must LOSE!!!

ARRGH!!!!!! "Hey Mr.Sillyman, say hello to my little friend!" *BULLETS FLYING!* ARRGH!!!!!!!!!!!!

"The Alphabet Soup Assasin"


3:59 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Damn...I feel a little better now. I've been waiting for someone to 'go off' on, and I now actually have someone to root against this wknd.

GO JOHNSON!!!!!! Send that wanker and his stupid-ass ink into permanent retirement!!!


4:05 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Wait a minute...This get's even better! I thought I was seeing things, but Clinton has "WBC" tatooed on his left bicep, and..."IBF" tatooed on his right!!!!!! (WTF???)

Knock him out twice Glen, and I'll ink "Bizzy on Boxing" on his forehead, and "Alphabet Soup ASS-assin" on his keister!!!

4:14 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Why would anyone put an alphabet organization's name on their body?

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Bradford said...

Please do not be surprised to see Clinton defend his organisation's title in fashion.

5:25 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Where did the "WBC" thing come from anyway????

5:40 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

"FASHION"??? You call that FASHION??? !@$%^&*( !@@@$^&%#!


JE- Answer to #1 -- You got me...

#2 -- I think he picked up a wbc trinket somewhere along the way as well...


7:54 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I wouldn't care if I defended a sanctioning body belt 30 times, there would never be tattooed letters on my body.

8:12 PM  
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12:02 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

I think it will be an exceptional fight. I really hope Woods wins because I think that he deserves it the most. He was trying to get a world title for years and now that he has finally got one I hope he can keep hold of it.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

I think it will be an exceptional fight. I really hope Woods wins because I think that he deserves it the most. He was trying to get a world title for years and now that he has finally got one I hope he can keep hold of it.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Ken Hissner said...

I don't believe Woods showed that bad compared to other boxers Roy has humiliated. He showed gut's that many did not. Calzaghe talked about fighting Woods while his next opponent Bika is not rated except for #22 by the IBO. Pending on the judges, Johnson should be able to win, but a decision may not be his best option.

11:10 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Calzaghe has the unfortunate habit of defending against low-level guys. However, as bitterly as I criticized him previously he did come through big against Lacy. He is a top 10 P4P.

11:20 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Woods is, in MHO, a tough top-15 type of guy. In an era of one "world" champion, he would have received a title shot and failed without having really come close to victory (as was the case against RJJ).

11:29 AM  
Anonymous THE CRUISERWEIGHT said...

Damnit..."Alphabet Boy" won by a controversial split decision. I didn't see it, but a friend of mine did. He said he thought it was close, but he had Johnson winning 7-5. (He's a Brit BTW.)

There is another way to look at though, I suppose. One guy walked out of the ring with tatoos of the wbc and ibf on each arm, and the other unmarked. So...Who is the real "winner" and "loser" after all? Hmm....Let's go to the three judges (Me, myself, and I)

Unanimous decision that Woods is still JACKASS LOSER!!!!


7:47 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Do you think they'll ever unify the light heavyweight titles?

8:00 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

Ehh...You know...As much as I hate to say it, I've kind of almost 'given up' on that bit. As it pertains to all divisions. If it happens, great, but it takes forever to happen, and then once it does happen...Next thing you know, one 'organization' strips the champ of their belt because the won't defend against a bogus mandatory, and then all of a sudden...Were right back to square one. Split titles.

Anyways, no. I don't see a good chance at all of unification in the lt.hvy division for the near and forseeable future.

*Sidenote - Adamek hasn't fought in forever. The 175-pounder I'm really keeping my eye on is Chad Dawson.

12:53 AM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

I wonder if any of the Euro champs will choose to face Antonio Tarver. He was very flat against Hopkins but he may have one good fight left in him.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

I wish Tarver would go up to cruiserweight J.E, and I heard he might. But yes, Tarver vs. Erdei, Adamek, or Woods would be cool as well. But I really think the 175 has gotten to be too much for him to make at this stage. I would love to see him at cruiser though, and I think he would do well.

6:57 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

That may explain his flatness against Hopkins. It surely wasn't because Hopkins was putting heat on him. Tarver just sort of posed the entire fight.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous the cruiserweight said...

It could. Hopkins - to his credit - did put on a masterful performance, but AT was indeed very flat. I would love to see him at cruiser. But you know me. I think most all big lt.hvy's and small hvy's should be at cruiser! (lol)

9:16 PM  
Blogger JE Boxing said...

Tarver could make some money as a cruiser....maybe a fight with Chris Byrd is in order.

5:01 PM  

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