Born in Sheffield on the 1st May 1972, Clinton Woods started his pro career on the 17th November 1994 as a super middleweight.
Clinton had twenty fights at 168lbs, winning the Commonwealth title in his nineteenth fight. His unbeaten run came to an end when he lost in his first defense to Dave Starie on points.
Woods then stepped up to light heavyweight which was to be a career defining move. In only his third fight at the weight he captured the British, Commonwealth and European titles.
Clinton then went on a thirteen fight unbeaten run which led to him getting a shot at the current P4P fighter in the world at the time, Roy Jones Jnr, who was in his prime as a fighter.
Five belts were on the line that night, WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO and the WBF titles. Unfortunately this was a massive step too far as he received a savage beating, with only his enormous courage and bravery getting him through to the sixth round, before the referee finally stopped the fight.
However, Clinton wouldn’t let this stop his dream of becoming world champion.
His next two attempts at the vacant IBF title saw him draw and then lose to Glen Johnson, in two great fights, before finally fulfilling his dream at the next attempt, stopping the unbeaten prospect Rico Hoye in the fifth round.
Clinton made four defenses of the title before agreeing to face Antonio Tarver, but the build up to the fight went awfully wrong. Woods picked up a virus just weeks before the fight, and lost a close friend a week before the bout. Clinton didn’t cancel the fight but looked a shadow of himself on the night and subsequently lost his treasured world title.
Woods finally called it a day after his final world title fight on the 28/8/09 against the much younger Tavoris Cloud. He knew the years had finally caught up with him as he tired in the second half of the fight.
Throughout his career, Clinton fought the best that was around, and traveled anywhere in the world to fulfill his dream of being World Champion. He wasn’t the most skillful of boxers but what he lacked in that department he made up with a good solid chin, and the will and heart of a lion. Outside the ring he was a loving family man and a credit to the sport.
Woods finished his career with a record of 42-5-1 (24 KO)
To me Clinton Woods was one of Britain’s unsung heroes.