Each of the bouts on Clinton Woods' upcoming IBF Light Heavyweight title defense against Glen Johnson could easily hold their own as the top of a bill on most boxing fight cards, however due to the exceptional nature of the quality of fights taking place in Bolton, England on 2 September, they shall now make up a tremendous undercard. Fans will be treated to not just Clinton Woods and Glen Johnson III, but also a WBU Welterweight title fight with Mehrdud Takaloo and ex-British Champion Michael Jennings competing for the belt.
Takaloo is the man who not long ago put Eamonn Magee's career back into shambles after winning a majority decision against the Belfast southpaw to take the WBU crown. Takaloo, born in Teheran, Iran but now a British citizen, has an exciting KO record, with 17 knockouts in 25 wins, with 9 of those coming within 3 rounds. He does however have 5 losses to his name. His career, while not spectacular, has been a good one and has held the WBU Light Middleweight title twice already and in a losing effort, gave Daniel Santos a stern challenge for the WBO title in 2002.
Michael Jennings, who has only one loss to his name, which was very controversial in itself, does not appear to have the knockout punch that the Iranian has, however has proved himself more than capable of keeping the pace up for 12 rounds as shown in his record of 28 wins, 13 by knockout. Takaloo probably represents the best fighter that Jennings has fought to date and certainly the most powerful and dangerous, which makes for an excellent fight.
Not content with just two title fights, also on the undercard of Woods vs. Johnson III is a WBA Light Welterweight title fight. Former world title challenger Souleymane M'baye and ex-WBA Lightweight Champion Raul Horacio Balbi will go head to head in what should be, in terms of action, as good as the main event itself.
M’baye, the "French sensation", matches his opponent with a better than 50% knockout percentage and has beaten some excellent opposition. His sole loss in 35 fights was to WBA Light Welter Champion at the time, Vivian Harris, in 2003. Two years ago, M'baye won a WBA title eliminator against the previously undefeated Andreas Kotelnik now and 6 fights later, he will finally get his second chance to win a major belt.
The Argentinean Balbi won the WBA Lightweight title 5 years ago before losing it in his first defense and is perhaps past his best. Balbi has not fought a fighter the caliber of M'baye for some time and has not fought out of his own country since he lost his second bout with Leonard Dorin. Despite this, everyone has one last fight in them, and with this being his last chance to win another major belt, Balbi may well be able to step up and really get the crowd going.