BOXING: ‘Cameron hits harder than I did,’ says Woods

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FORMER world champion Clinton Woods has paid a remarkable compliment to his protege Liam Cameron: “He hits harder than I did at his age.”

Cameron, 21, is in training for his shot at the Central Area middleweight title against another talented Sheffield boxer, Jez Wilson.

Cameron has a 13-fight record blighted by just one loss and is looking for his first title, at Don Valley stadium, on June 23.

It promises to be some encounter, as Wilson, 10 years his senior, is an intelligent and super-fit boxer.

But Woods is confident his man will prevail.

“Liam’s punching power has really come on, he has loads of strength now,” he said. “He is a tall fighter, has big shoulders for a middleweight and knows how to throw shots correctly.

“I’d go as far as to say he punches harder than I did at 21,” said the former IBF light heavyweight champion.

Woods said he and Cameron had “clicked” in terms of their training relationship. “It took a while of me pushing him to get him to where I wanted him to be,” said Woods. “I was always a serious trainer and wanted him to show the same level of commitment and work ethic. He is doing well now.”

As for the forthcoming contest, Woods said: “I have sparred hundreds of rounds with Jez, from when I was training at Glyn Rhodes’ gym and am in a good position to judge who is likely to win.

“All i can say is I feel Liam is going to take some beating on the night.”

Meanwhile, Rhodes will be in the corner of Sheffield hopeful Louis Rutherford on Saturday. The 19-year-old super middleweight aims to shrug off defeat in his first professional contest, in a six-rounder at Sleaford, Lincolnshire. He fights Cambridgeshire’s Jake Dyer.