Woods defends IBF light-heavyweight title

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:36 IST

Clinton Woods survived a ninth-round battering to win a split decision over Glencoffe Johnson and hold on to his IBF light-heavyweight title on Saturday.

Woods defends IBF light-heavyweight title

Bolton, England:

Clinton Woods survived a ninth-round battering to win a split decision over Glencoffe Johnson and hold on to his IBF light-heavyweight title on Saturday. A former world champion at the weight, the 37-year-old Johnson appeared on course to win the title in their third meeting when he landed a big right hand followed by two left hooks in the ninth with Woods firing very little in reply. But the American failed to put down Woods in a thrilling contest that had no knockdowns, and the British fighter came back with three strong rounds to take the verdict for his third successful defence. Judge Mickey Vann gave it 115-113 to Johnson but Richard Bays scored it 115-112 and Roberto Ramirez 116-112 to the champion, who captured his 40th victory against three losses and a draw. Johnson is 44-11-2. The two fought to a draw the first time they met for the vacant title in November 2003, and Johnson won a unanimous decision three months later to capture the crown, which he later relinquished. Now Woods is even. "He hit me with some massive shots in that round," Woods said. "I don't know if it's just Johnson who maybe brings out the worst in me. He's so awkward when you fight against him. He's been a great champion. "People don't know how much Johnson hurt me that second fight. I was very near to hanging my gloves up." Johnson is convinced he beat Woods again even though two of the judges disagreed. "I truly believe I won the fight," Johnson said. "There were some close rounds in there. Clinton Woods won a couple of rounds but for the most part they were just close rounds." On the same card, Souleymane Mbaye knocked Raul Balbi down twice before gaining a fourth-round TKO to capture the vacant WBA light-welterweight title. The Frenchman overcame an injury above his right eye in the first round to outpunch the Argentine at the Bolton Arena. (AP)

Topics : Boxing
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