Boxing - Wood follows in Froch's footsteps

He learned to box at Phoenix Amateur Boxing Club, lives in Gedling - and has got a big fight coming up.


Leigh Wood is following in Carl Froch's footsteps.

Wood will be in the crowd when his neighbour battles Mikkel Kessler in London on Saturday, then heads home to top the bill in Nottingham.

Promoter Jason McClory has confirmed Wood will battle Ian Bailey for the vacant British Masters featherweight title at Clifton Leisure Centre on Saturday, June 22. Also on the show, former champions Jason Booth and Shane McPhilbin box and Wood says he's planning to become Nottingham's next boxing hero.

"Gedling is only a small village and I often bump into Carl at Tesco's or out and about somewhere," said the 24 year-old. "When I was a kid I remember watching him in the gym and he was a machine. I remember getting his autograph!

"Carl was a real inspiration - and he still is. We went to the same amateur club, live in the same village and I would love to think I will be the next boxer from Nottingham coming through."

Wood boxed on the undercard of Froch's world-title defence against Yusaf Mack at the Trent FM Arena last November and said: "I love boxing in Nottingham. I would have every fight there if I could."

Wood has always had good support from his home city - he is sponsored by Blueprint - and the Forest fan could get his wish. Newark-based McClory says that if his debut promotion is a success, he will stage open shows in the city. Wood could be the star of these shows. He was a top amateur - winning national honours and boxing for England - and as a professional, he has won all nine fights (two inside-the-distance) to secure his title chance.

Wood is based with the Ingles in Sheffield. He shares a flat with fellow professional Leo D'Erlanger around a mile from the gym and said: "I do get homesick because I'm a Nottingham lad through and through, but there are a good bunch of lads up here and we have a right laugh."

Nottingham light-middleweight Terry Maughan also boxes on the show and McClory will also be matching top talents Chris Goodwin and Adrian Gonzalez.

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