Round By Round: Clinton Woods vs. Antonio Tarver

We're almost set for the second half of the light heavyweight twin bill on Showtime, as Clinton Woods makes his way to the ring. He did a refreshingly honest interview earlier when he said he never expected to make it this far in the sport.

Antonio Tarver gets to enter second even though he is the IBO champion, which is to say not really a champion at all. His hometown crowd is definitely showing him some love. The announcers wonder whether any of his psychological games have had any effect on Woods. Clinton has slight advantages in youth, reach and weight.

Round 1

A cautious opening with Tarver jabbing and Woods trying to jump in. Woods throws to the body and AT dances back. Straight left by Tarver. Woods comes in to the body, then lands a nice shot upstairs. Tarver lands an uppercut, then another. Good left by Tarver; Woods tries to respond but hits mostly air.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Tarver

Round 2

Now Woods looking to jab more. Tarver throws a combo but gets backed into the ropes by Woods. Left downstairs by AT. Woods managing to come forward more but his work rate isn't what I expected. Tarver goes to the body and back to the head; Woods looking for body shots as well. Woods walks through some fire and lands a nice right, he also switches to southpaw for a bit. Tarver finishes strong with an uppercut along the ropes.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Tarver

Round 3

Woods starting a little faster in this round. Tarver still finding the left. AT goes to the body as Woods throws back to the head. Woods just misses a big counter shot. Tarver hitting then clinching if his foe gets in too close. Now a counter shot gets Tarver's attention. Body work by Woods and Tarver is off balance trying to respond. That was Woods' best round so far but still probably not good enough to get the nod.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Tarver

Round 4

Nice uppercut by Tarver is the first good punch to land. The jab is there for Woods but he needs to throw it more. Right hand in the corner by Woods but Tarver escapes. Straight left by Tarver. Nice combo by Tarver stuns Woods a bit. Lots of wrestling along the ropes. The crowd boos a bit because the round dragged a little in the second half.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Tarver

Round 5

Tarver still throwing combos in spurts while Woods is reduced to throwing one shot, though he's getting in closer this round. AT isn't fighting a pretty fight but he has been effective. Woods comes forward behind body shots from both hands. Woods gets caught with a left coming in. The hand speed difference is noticeable, especially in this round.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Tarver

Round 6

Woods finally manages to corner Tarver for a second but he still needs to let his hands go. He gets whacked with a left coming off the ropes. More Tarver lefts find the mark. Woods is bleeding from the nose now. AT goes back to the jab and follows with lefts. Nothing of real consequence in the last minute of the round.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Tarver

Round 7

Interesting that a press row judge has given two rounds to Woods; I'm not seeing that. Tarver is finding a pretty easy target if Woods stands still. Woods fires back to the body. His right to the body has been about all he's been able to do. Tarver dances around and makes this round look easy.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Tarver

Round 8

Woods' best chance to get back in it is to look for one big punch. Finally he throws a combo. Tarver goes to the body then back upstairs. Woods lands a counter and he needs more of that. Left uppercut scores by Tarver. The crowd is booing again; perhaps they were spoiled by that great first fight. More body punches by Woods. This was his best round but still not good enough to take it.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Tarver

Round 9

Now Woods is showing a bit more urgency, but it may be too late. He digs to the body and tries to press his advantage along the ropes. Big combo by Tarver as he lands multiple shots upstairs. Body work by Woods is answered upstairs by Tarver. Sharp combo by Tarver to the head. He's jabbing as Woods comes forward again. That was the first close round of the fight in my opinion.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Woods

Round 10

Tarver fighting right-handed this round. Woods jabs in as Tarver covers up. Nice quick shots upstairs by AT. Woods lands a left as Tarver backs up. Woods gets inside but can't quite figure out how to land an uppercut. Nice right and a left by Tarver. Woods lands a few shots along the ropes. Body work by Tarver. Good left by Tarver as he comes in. Woods comes forward at the bell but gets popped in the face for his trouble.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Tarver

Round 11

I think Woods needs a KO to win but press row has it closer than I do. Nice right by Woods snaps Tarver's head back. Woods jabs in and tries combos. Stiff left gets Woods' attention. Big left by Tarver but Woods says he's not hurt. We'll see. Woods shows some heart and turns much more aggressive. He's swinging away but not connecting with everything. That was a close round but Woods was fortunate not to go down from that big left.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Woods

Round 12

Tarver lands an early left as the crowd roars. Another big left along the ropes. Now another in the center of the ring. Tarver definitely closing the show now. Woods trying to act like he's not hurt but he's really not doing much here. One minute to go. Straight left lands clean for Tarver. Woods is game all the way until the end, but if this fight is close on the cards I'd be shocked.

Franchise scores it: 10-9 Tarver

Franchise scores it 118-110 for Tarver. The judges score it 116-112, 117-111 and 119-109, all for the winner and new IBF light heavyweight champion, Antonio "Magic Man" Tarver.

1 comment:

uatu said...

Uatu says...
It feels good to be wrong. Looks like Tarver completely out classed Woods. Hopefully Tarver has one last serious run in him, and one that does not include any other fights with Roy Jones. Since one of Tarver's claims to fame is that he has beaten every fighter that has beaten him, except Hopkins, maybe a Hopkins-Tarver II is in order. Or Tarver Calzaghe if JoeCal wins.