Former Sheffield world champion Clinton Woods says controversial fighter Tyson Fury “speaks the truth” - and backs him to become an even bigger name in the sport.
Fury caused uproar with his forthright opinions on the role of women in society, gay people and abortion. While it angered many people, Fury’s statements have certainly made him better known outside of the sport.
And Woods thinks his ‘charismatic’ profile will benefit boxing. Sheffield’s one-time IBF light heavyweight champion said Fury was the fighter that he was most excited about going forward. “He is the one who speaks the truth, has got a bit of charisma about him, when have we ever had a heavyweight that talks like him?
“He is a good fighter he has shown a lot of people how good he is. Twelve rounds moving around like he did (in his beating of Wladimir Klitschko in November) 6ft 9, 17 stone, it’s unbelievable.”
Woods added Anthony Joshua: “looks a brilliant fighter, they made a massive PPV fight out of Dillian Whyte. The heavyweight scene is probably the worst it’s been in 50 years, but Joshua does look the real deal. But unless he fights someone like Tyson Fury, we won’t know how good he is.”
Woods hopes Sheffield welterweight Kell Brook will successfully defend his IBF title and then move on to bigger things this year.
His advice to the champ is: “Just keep in the gym now. He’s got all the talent to dominate that division, I think he’s a great, great fighter, let’s just hope he can keep on top of it this year and fight more regularly.”
Woods runs a gym in Westfield and says he is not fazed by the number of new boxing centres that have opened up in the last few years.
“I’m not worried about any other competitors. Around my gym I think there are about 10 gyms, all doing similar stuff, but as long as my gym is busy, I’m still doing it.”
The Sheffielder, who trains Eckington novice pro Joss Paul, wants to grow an amateur unit at his base.
“I have been trying to get amateur boxing into the gym. I have been in talks with somebody who is going to put my lads on their shows.”