Following weeks of public deliberation as to the name of Clinton Woods’ next opponent today’s announcement that the Sheffield fighter will tackle former foe Julio Gonzales in a mandatory defence was met with varying degrees of apathy. What happened to Roy Jones Jnr, Antonio Tarver, Bernard Hopkins or even long-shots Darius Michelczewski and Joe Calzaghe? True Woods has been side-lined longer than expected by an arm injury but still, Gonzales again? Hardly quickens the pulse does it?Woods will fulfil his mandatory obligation by facing the tall, rugged Mexican and will need to maintain his recent excellence to repel the challenge, despite Gonzales’ proven limitations, and preserve his belated status as a World Champion, however it remains a league short of the type of exalted competition promoter Dennis Hobson frequently stated were queing to face the IBF belt holder.
Presumption, which usually precedes a fall from grace, suggests Woods moves on from this toward the major money fights his persistance, honesty and hard work deserve. The bout features as chief support to Ricky Hatton’s next bout against Jose Luis Castillo on June 23rd in Las Vegas.