It was a special night for Clinton Woods - and it brought back a thousand memories.
The former IBF light heavyweight champion of the world staged a fund-raising evening at Sheffield Wednesday’s Riverside suite to raise funds to go towards a new wing at his amateur gym in Westfield.
But it was seeing the old faces that was the priceless part of the evening.
“There were so many people there who were with me from the start, my first fight at Pinegrove country club (1994,) he said.
“I went into boxing just as a joke, a laugh, to get fit.
“It just carried on and on. I didn’t really love or watch boxing. But it all changed when I trained hard and my ring entrance music came on (The Jam - Going Underground) I knew I had to jump in then and do my business.”
Woods said nobody would have believed from those early days that he would go on and achieve “fights in America and winning world titles.”
The event organised by his pals featured a speech from Woods about his career and a sing-song with his former manager Dennis Hobson - captured on video at thestar.co.uk
The former champ, who admits he is not a fan of the sport these days, said of city’s top title hope Kell Brook: “He is a very good fighter, he is in a hard division with some top guys; but he will be a world champion.”
Woods said he had admired Naseem Hamed in the ring, but less so out of it.
n Dave Coldwell stages another derby-style cracker in Sheffield on May 9. Dave Fidler will be seeking revenge over Lee Noble. While Chad Gaynor and Adil Anwar will face each other.
Dronfield’s Rod Smith, impressive against Liam Cameron back in December, receives another stern test as he goes in with fellow unbeaten boxer, Mark Heffron.
Crosspool fireman Jez Wilson takes on John Ryder in a British middleweight title eliminator at York Hall, Bethnal Green on April 5.
Former world champion bantamweight Jamie McDonnell is next out in Manchester on April 19.