Was Clinton Woods the most loved boxer in Sheffield fight history?

Clinton Woods: local legend.
Clinton Woods: local legend.
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There may have been better world champions.

But there are very few who enjoyed the connection with their own community as Clinton Woods. He’s as Sheffield as Tinsley viaduct - and almost as resilient.

Woods knocked out 25 opponents in a Won 42, Lost 5, Drawn 1 career stretching from 1994.

He shares the sense of South Yorkshire nous that you see and hear every day in the street, the pub or the corner shop.

But now our Clinton is about to get the full media treatment, six years after retiring.

A film “Clinton Woods: the skinny boy from Sheffield” is being produced and a book is also on the cards.

The film is the work of Sheffield’s Gavin White, who has been anxious to explore the link between fighter and community. The point of the film is to look at Clinton’s popularity in his home town. He had an army of fans who have always stayed loyal.

“Few boxers have that bond - another example of that would be Ricky Hatton. Both were great fighters and great blokes.”

White has interviewed Sheffield boxing luminaries including Paul ‘Silky’ Jones, Dennis Hobson, Dom Ingle, Glyn Rhodes and Ryan Rhodes.

But tomorrow, he will be seeking the views of the man and woman in the street, conducting interviews in Sheffield (Moor) market,(10am-3pm.)

He hopes to get a more intimate feel on why the city still has such enduring affection for the light heavyweight who landed the IBF world title 12 years ago this month and held it for three years.

Woods once said he thought he’d end up living “in a caravan on the outskirts of Sheffield.”

Now aged 44 and a proud grandfather, he runs a gym in Westfield.

*Sam Sheedy’s rearranged Commonwealth title shot will now take place on Friday April 28th at Bramall Lane.

Sheedy was due to face Abolaji Rasheed for the vacant middleweight belt in March but that date was scuppered after the Nigerian champion encountered visa problems.

Now, with Rasheed’s entry into the UK resolved, Sheedy gets a new opportunity to pick up the coveted Commonwealth strap, and manager AJ Hobson is convinced the Steel City southpaw will grab his chance with both gloves.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to rearrange Sam’s title shot so quickly,” explained AJ. “Sam has been putting everything into his training and it was obviously disappointing that the original date fell through.

“This just means that he gets an extra few weeks to sharpen up though, and I know he will put on an explosive performance at Bramall Lane. Rasheed can’t be taken lightly, he is a champion and we know he’ll be coming over here to upset the odds, but I’m expecting Sam to put on a great show for the fans and then move onto the world scene.”

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