Boxing: Woods remains hopeful of an unlikely Jones rematch

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The Independent Online

Clinton Woods retained his International Boxing Federation light-heavyweight title with a repeat points win against the Mexican Julio Cesar Gonzalez in a fight that will probably be the best of the year.

On Saturday night at the Hallam FM Arena in Sheffield, Woods took control of an even brawl from round nine, and the last three rounds were simply incredible to watch. In round 11 Gonzalez nearly touched down, but in round 12 he managed to use his head to cut Woods over the eye, but from that point until the bell the local fighter thankfully stayed out of range.

Woods will now try to find a big fight against a big name for a lucrative purse because, at 35, and after 13 years in the professional business, it is time he started to make some serious money. Saturday night's defence was his fourth of the title, and he won the IBF belt on his fourth attempt in the type of career that can only be described as a throwback. Woods would dearly love a rematch with Roy Jones, who stopped the Sheffield boxer in 2002, but that multi-million pound dream is unlikely to happen.

Meanwhile, on Friday night in Coventry, the remarkable career of Howard Eastman possibly came to an end when he lost his British middleweight title – and lost to a British fighter for the first time in 47 fights – when he was beaten by Wayne Elcock.

Eastman will also be stripped of his Commonwealth belt which, for a variety of reasons, was not on offer. Less than three years ago Eastman made nearly $1m (£493,000) and lost a narrow points decision to the world middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins in Las Vegas. But Friday night's British title fight failed to attract any interest from a television company.