Re: Now Here's Something You Don't See Every Day
The thing that impresses me most about Woodhall's candour is this was his first defence of his world title and it was in his hometown in front of a very partisan home crowd. He didn't even contemplate trying to blag it and make out he'd won once the decision had been announced even though his fans were celebrating his victory vociferously.
He'd had some terrible luck in his career too. He had to wait ages for his first crack at a world title. He'd been the mandatory challenger for Keith Holmes middleweight belt for 20 months before they gave him his shot and then a couple of weeks before they were due to fight he had to have surgery on a really bad elbow injury he'd sustained and he was told his promoter (Mickey Duff) that he wouldn't get another shot for at least another 15 months if he pulled out of the fight. If that wasn't bad enough, he was also subjected to a dirty tricks campaign over in the US by Holmes' people. Here's what he had to say about some of the psychological games they played during the build up to the fight:
''Fighting away from home opens your eyes. People were knocking on my door at 4am. They took me for a medical and said they'd lost all my forms, which was nonsense. I was taken on journeys that were supposed to be 15 minutes but lasted an hour.''
''I lost fair and square on the night and there are no excuses but things were bad from the start. Everything is against you. The crowd, the promoter and the local people, they try to make it as uncomfortable as possible. If you win a title abroad then you're a true champion, no doubt.''