Walking to the ring in Tampa, Florida, Clinton Woods knew he was going to lose. Despite holding the IBF light-heavyweight title, backed by the supposed confidence of a man making defence number five, all was not well behind the scenes for the Sheffield fighter.
“I should’ve pulled out the fight. Three weeks before I’d hurt my back in England. The physio told me to pull out. I was told I couldn’t pull out,” Woods explained to the Boxing Asylum’s Nuthouse Podcast.
The fight went on and for the first time in 45 professional contests the man promoted by Dennis Hobson was entering a prizefight with no positive expectations. Just days before the fight, Woods’ best friend implored him to turn around and come home. Given the fact that a withdrawal was off the table, and fans had travelled over to see their hero perform, it remained a non-option.
“It’s the only regret in my boxing career -which was a long career of 16 or 17 years- that I should’ve pulled out a few weeks before. Things werent right,” added Woods.
Also in the video Clinton talks about the much-discussed bout with Joe Calzaghe that never happened, his three gruelling fights with Glen Johnson, 12 rounds with the hard-punching Tavoris Cloud, the night he beat American dangerman Rico Hoye to win a world title and much more.
You can catch the interview in full here: