Battle to a Draw
Paul Concannon at ringside
the second time in recent weeks here in the UK a fight for a major vacant title
ended in a controversial draw. On
the Back of Michael Brodie’s recent WBC featherweight battle with In Jin Chi,
Sheffield’s hometown hero Clinton Woods battled every inch of the way to
secure a share of Friday night’s vacant IBF light heavyweight title with
American hard-man Glencoffe Johnson.
my ringside position I scored the bout by two points to the local hero, my
feeling being that his cleaner work and strong finish had earned him the nod in
a pulsating battle of co-challengers and quality, deserving contenders.
a few exceptions, the general consensus was that Johnson’s rolling aggression
had earned him the nod, and I certainly would not have argued one jot had
Johnson being given the verdict, it was that close.
me, the bout seemed to hinge upon the last two rounds; I had it dead level at
four rounds each with two even at that point.
I felt Woods did enough to take both rounds with cleaner punching,
excellent work off the left hand and an apparent knockdown in the last that was
ruled a slip by the referee.
was crestfallen with the verdict and after so many unjust verdicts against the
prospect turned journeyman turned contender in his battle hardened career it’s
difficult not to feel for him after putting so much in to a pulsating struggle.
began by backing up Woods with right hands and a thumping body attack and he
seemed by far the more powerful in the early going.
The first two rounds were tough going for Woods who was forced to absorb
several meaty overhand rights and a few hooks and uppercuts for good measure, it
was pretty much one way traffic at this point with the American’s desire,
strength, body-punching and power proving to more than a handful for the more
did better in the third and fourth, both close rounds, with the odd success
from the left, but again he was forced to absorb some heavy aggression as the
visitor pounded away, refusing him the centre of the ring and trapping Clinton
against the ropes time after time.
round five, the fight entered Woods territory as Johnson began to tire from his
early exertions and the super fit and adaptable home-towner began working a
decent left hook counter. Johnson
continued his forward march throughout the middle rounds, trapping Woods against
the ropes and certainly throwing plenty of eye catching shots but for from where
I was sat the cleaner sharper work was coming from Clinton who began employing a
nice straight right mixed in with three punch bursts. I felt he was holding the
centre of the ring as Johnson hit arms, gloves and the top of heads.
eight saw both on the canvas from slips and both take turns to gain the upper
hand. I had the ninth close and
felt the American shaded the tenth with a high workrate as Woods output dropped
final two rounds were hard fought and exciting with Woods desire, superior
fitness and strength being the key, in my eyes at least.
It was toe to toe at times as both tried desperately hard but Woods, who
can always be counted on for fitness and desire in the later rounds, banging in
several quality punches to the head of the tiring American. After an exciting
toe to toe skirmish a right seemed to send the flagging visitor to his knees in
the final minute but referee Ian John Lewis ruled it a slip.
I felt Johnson did more holding than fighting in the last and that swayed
round 12 to Woods in my book.
a draw may have been the fairest result as hopefully both men will be in line
for a rematch and second crack at the title some time in the New Year.
I could happily stand to see this one go on again; it was an excellent
bout between deserving and hungry contenders.
with recent bouts between the aforementioned Brodie and Chi and a titanic
domestic war between Alex Arthur and Michael Gomez recently the tide seems to be
finally turning, here in Britain, from plastic titles that impress nobody and
fool even fewer.
of the undercard, saw Sheffield based Patrick J Maxwell improve to 8-1 (6) with
an impressive display of punch picking and crisp jabbing to demolish
Wolverhampton powerhouse Conroy Macintosh in four exciting rounds. It was a stark improvement on Maxwell’s previous outing
when he struggled to impress against a debutant, but he showed that when he
settles down and works off the left rather than going knockout happy he may well
be one to watch. He can be very
pleased with his nights work.
once again to Richard Poxon at Hobson promotions