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Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Monday, 7 April 2008 17:10 UK

Tarver's ex-trainer primes Woods

Clinton Woods (left) and Antonio Tarver
Woods (left) and Tarver at a heated February news conference

Clinton Woods is taking tips from Antonio Tarver's former mentor ahead of their IBF light-heavyweight clash in Tampa, Florida on Saturday.

Sheffield's Woods, the champion, has been tuning up at Orlando's Frontline gym, run by veteran trainer Lou Harris.

"We're throwing out pointers here and there when we're asked," said Harris.

"Antonio's only got four punches and if Clinton figures that out he'll be OK. He needs to be aggressive and get right in Tarver's face."

Tarver's promising schoolboy career had long gone by the time he found himself on Harris' doorstep as a 19-year-old who had lived for a period on the streets and experimented with drugs.

All my fighters who were here when Antonio was around, they are praying that he gets beaten on Saturday night

Antonio Tarver's former trainer Lou Harris

Under the guidance of his new trainer - who Tarver routinely referred to as "the great Lou Harris" - Tarver's talent blossomed and he would eventually claim a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics.

But Harris is only too happy to help plot the downfall of a fighter he says deserted him and left him heartbroken.

"I tried to treat Antonio like a son but after everything I did for him he just walked away," said Harris.

"You know what it's like when a fighter comes out of the ghetto and gets a few nickels to rub together.


"I can tell you that all my fighters who were here when Antonio was around, they are praying that he gets beaten on Saturday night.

"When Clinton's people called and asked to come to my gym, I said it was no problem. Whatever information Clinton needs, I don't mind giving him that. This sort of thing is the nature of the business."

The 35-year-old Woods, who is making the fifth defence of the world title he won in 2005, said: "It's funny that we ended up at Tarver's first amateur gym but it's perfect and I've been getting as much information as I can out of coach Harris while I'm here.

"I'm shut away from any distractions like screaming kids and I couldn't really have had a better camp out here, apart from the heat. I'm ready to go and I can't wait to defend my title in style."

see also
Woods arrives in the big time
06 Feb 08 |  Sport Homepage
Woods full of praise for Witter
26 Sep 07 |  Boxing
Calzaghe turns down Woods offer
07 Apr 06 |  Boxing
Woods wants recognition
04 Sep 06 |  Boxing
Woods win wrecks Calzaghe plans
03 Sep 06 |  Boxing

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