Champ KO'd by Harvey

FIGHTERS the pair of 'em...

Wednesday, 26th September 2007, 4:17 pm

Big-hearted battler Clinton Woods and little Harvey Phillips face each other in the ring and once again prepare to take on the world with Sheff-ield steel.

They first met at the Child-ren's Hospital in September 2005, just days before Clinton was to defend his IBF light-heavyweight boxing crown against Julio Gonzalez.

The date came only weeks after doctors were forced to amputate Harvey's right forearm, the fingers on his left hand and both legs after he contracted meningitis.

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Harvey, then aged 10 months, also suffered multiple organ failure and at one stage doctors told his parents to expect the worst.

But the tough little guy fought back like a true champion.

Clinton was so moved to read of Harvey's heroic struggle in The Star he cancelled training to pop to the hospital to help cheer the little lad.

It was a magical meeting.

The boxer walked in, cuddled Harvey in his arms and the little lad had a smile as wide as the Wicker Arches.

The boxer was so captivated he promised to win the fight for Harvey - and he did it in style. But that wasn't the end of the story. This Saturday the Sheffield boxer will once again defend his crown in a re-match with Gonzalez at the Hallam FM Arena.

And once again Harvey faces a battle of his own.

His parents Darren and Lisa, who moved from Parson Cross to Louth, need to raise around 45,000 to convert their home.

Darren explains: "Harvey is like all lads his age, he wants to be here there and everywhere. But obviously he has problems with things we take for granted, things like getting upstairs.Even things like washing and going to the toilet are a problem. "

The price of the conversion to enable Harvey to do these things for himself will cost in the region of 75,000, part of which is covered by a grant.

The family are now trying to raise the rest and, as always, champ Clinton is giving his full backing.

He said: "Every time I meet Harvey he inspires me. He's such a brave little boy, and like me a fighter. He never complains and always has a smile on his face - a little belter he is."

Lisa paid tribute to the boxer's continued support.

"It means so much to us," she said. "What a lovely man Clinton is. To take time out of training when he's preparing for a world championship fight, not once but twice, proves he is a true champion."

To donate to the Harvey Phillips Trust Fund you can pay in at any branch of Lloyds TSB Bank code 01163170 sort code 309522.