Our gym will fix it

Piictured at his New Gym, is  Boxer Clinton Woods,
Piictured at his New Gym, is Boxer Clinton Woods,
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once, the only people who liked going to a derelict old building in Westfield were burglars, graffiti artists and fly-tippers.

Now, though, the delapidated former youth club is alive with the sounds of youngsters having fun again...thanks to former world champion Clinton Woods.

The 39-year-old former light heavyweight king lived in and around the Sheffield suburb between the age of 11-25.

Now, after a break from the sport he retired from in 2009, he is back and teaching ring skills and general training routines to children and adults at his new base.

“I fell out with boxing for a while, but then I started thinking about training local kids in the area I grew up in and found this building,” he said. “It’s been a nightmare to get it going. I was negotiating to buy it for two years and am having to spend £20,000 alone in making it safe,” said Woods, who lives in Ridgeway.

“People were using it to dump stuff, breaking in to nick the electrics and using it as a toilet or place for graffiti.

“But there are a lot of good kids in Westfield and they have been dying to see the place back in action.

“When I started doing training sessions this week I didn’t know how many people to expect, but the place has been packed out.”

As well as providing a public service, Woods also has five professional boxers on his books.

One is Liam Cameron, the 20-year-old middleweight who was tipped for stardom before blotting his copybook with a defeat at Hillsborough Leisure Centre in May.

Woods said: “I worked with Liam three or four fights ago and I thought he was getting sharper and coming on well, but then he slipped back.

“He has had problems with fitness - he has been like an old man in circuit training; it was taking him ages to do press-ups and squat jumps.

“His pace on the pads was too slow and might explain why the kid (Londoner Erick Ochieng) walked through him in his last fight.”

Cameron has a bout at Doncaster Dome next month and Woods says: “He was miles away from being ready, but it is starting to come together now.”