IBF light-heavyweight champion Clinton Woods has set his sights on meeting the winner of Antonio Tarver vs Roy Jones Jr. when the Americans clash for a third time on October 1. The rubber match between the 36-year-old fighters could take place at the
Mandalay Bay hotel-casino in Las Vegas, where the pair fought twice before “Tarver and Jones have unfinished business and the winner will regard themselves as the best light-heavyweight in the world. However, I have some unfinished business of my own that I’d like to take care of after I’ve successfully defended my world title against Julio Gonzales in Sheffield on September 9,” began Woods.
Woods suffered a sixth round stoppage defeat to then undisputed champion Jones in Portland, Oregon in September 2002 and is seeking revenge. But the IBF champ concedes he may never get the chance to set the record straight.
“Jones has lost his last two fights (against Tarver and former Woods adversary Glen Johnson), and by knockout as well, so unless he can get back to his very best I think Tarver will stop him,” said Woods.
“I wish it was me and not Tarver who was fighting Jones. I’ve improved so much since when we fought. Previously, I used to do things my own way. Now, I’ve got an excellent dietician on board, and by listening to him and my trainer Richard Poxon I’m a completely different fighter who is capable of beating anyone in my division.”
Woods will attempt to prove this when he makes the first defence of the IBF title he won by halting the previously unbeaten Rico Hoye against former WBO champion Julio Gonzales next month.
“Gonzales is going to be tough and right in my face but I’m confident I can win and become the first person to stop him, and then I’m going straight for the winner of Tarver-Jones,” claimed Woods.
Should Tarver triumph over Jones on October 1 he will be regarded as the world’s premier light-heavyweight after also exacting his revenge over Glen Johnson in June. However, Woods has a rather different take on things.
“Tarver has beaten Jones and Johnson when they were on the slide. If he fought me he’d be fighting someone at their peak. I would pressurize Tarver non-stop in every round, he’d never get chance to have a breather, and I know he wouldn’t like that.”
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.