37-year old Clinton Woods of Sheffield, England, made official his expected retirement, ending a 15-year career in boxing that saw him become one of the most successful British fighters of his era.
Woods (42-5-1, 24 KO) started his career at super middleweight and won the Commonwealth title there, then moved up and become European champion at light heavyweigt. Eventually, he would win the IBF title.
He will be best remembered, unfortunately, for his 2002 manhandling at the fists of Roy Jones Jr., in what I personally consider to be "the last" of the true Roy Jones Jr. performances. Jones battered Woods for six rounds, but the steel-chinned Brit wouldn't back down. Woods' corner threw in the towel at 1:29 of the sixth, saving referee Jay Nady from having to make the call.
Woods will likely also be unfairly remembered for being 0-3 in the States, with losses to Jones, Antonio Tarver and Tavoris Cloud. Clinton never looked worse or more out of sorts than he did in the Tarver fight, and he hung in there with Cloud and stood up to a stronger, younger, faster and fresher fighter for 12 rounds, never ceasing attempts to get back into the fight. It just didn't happen.
But he had a fine run after the loss to Jones, proving himself to be a better and even tougher scrapper than most gave him credit for directly before and after the fight with Roy. As he was considered "just a regional fighter" by many before the Jones fight, and was then so dominated by the American champ, he never quite got the credit he deserved. He split a three-fight series (1 win, 1 loss, 1 draw) with Glen Johnson, beat Julio Cesar Gonzalez twice, took Rico Hoye's "0," and beyond just his record, he was a good representative for the sport and an all-around solid guy.
Happy retirement, Clinton.
"In my heyday I would have beaten Cloud, but I have no excuses and I think my love affair with boxing is over. I wouldn't have chosen to have gone out with a defeat, but I never took a beating.
"There have been more ups than downs over 15 years. Beating Crawford Ashley for the European light-heavyweight title and winning the world title against Rico Hoye were the biggest highlights, along with beating Glen Johnson.
"It was good while it lasted and I am happy with what I achieved. I don’t know what I will do after boxing – I might go back to work as a plasterer because I can’t see myself sitting around at home."