Clinton Woods has launched a scathing attack on Joe Calzaghe ahead of the first defence of his IBF light-heavyweight title against Julio Gonzales in Sheffield on Friday September 9th. WBO super-middleweight champion Calzaghe is due to defend his crown against an as-yet unnamed opponent in Cardiff on the following night and has previously accused Woods of running scared of him.
“There’s less than four weeks to go before Calzaghe’s next fight but yet his opponent has still to be announced. It’s a joke. What kind of world championship defence is that?” asked Woods.
For Woods, the contrast could not be greater.
“I’m making the first defence of my world title against a former world champion and I’ve had ten weeks notice. Gonzales was once WBO champion and is a very tough challenger.”
Woods and Calzaghe almost collided last year as the undefeated Welshman contemplated stepping up to the light-heavyweight division. But when the IBF expressed a reluctance to sanction an eliminator between the pair, Calzaghe turned his back on the proposed meeting leaving Woods fuming.
“I’d signed my agreement to box Calzaghe and had already commenced my training. As far as I was concerned the fight was on. It’s probably for the best though given that Calzaghe twice pulled out of fighting Glen Johnson and that he has a history of messing people about.”
Woods went on to beat Jason DeLisle in an eliminator and finally claimed the vacant IBF title with a fifth round stoppage over Rico Hoye in March prompting an immediate challenge from Calzaghe. Woods, however, was distinctly unimpressed.
“Calzaghe wants everything his own way. In Roy Jones and Glen Johnson I’ve fought some of the best fighters in the world and earned my shot at the IBF title by boxing a tough eliminator – Calzaghe should be made to do the same,” argued Woods.
“I believe I’m a more credible world champion than Calzaghe, I’ve fought better people, and according to many people I’m better looking than him as well.”
Tickets for Woods vs Gonzales are available in person at the Hallam FM Arena, by calling the Hallam FM Arena box office on 0114 256 5656 or online at www.hallamfmarena.co.uk
– tickets are priced at £30, £50 , £75 and VIP ringside £125.