Home Boxing News Curtis Woodhouse – from hunter to the hunted

Curtis Woodhouse – from hunter to the hunted

The story of Driffield’s modern day ‘Cinderella Man’ could already be put into text to form a satisfying book but Woodhouse has made a u-turn on his original retirement plan to keep the drama going.

Last month Woodhouse accepted the underdog role in challenging Darren Hamilton for his British light-welterweight title. The defending champion was rightly the heavy favourite to retain the Lonsdale belt given his tremendous form since his May 2012 victory over Ashley Theophane, now represented by Mayweather Promotions, but Woodhouse upset the odds in dramatic fashion, taking a split decision in a fight that could have been scored either way.

‘Ammo’ started the fight well and controlled most of the first round but Woodhouse come on strong in the second, slipping Hamilton’s awkward jab and attacking his body. From then on it was all subjective; the busy work rate from Curtis as he constantly worked his man over was contrasted with Hamilton’s slick and neat display. At the end of the ninth the fight was then widely regarded as a three-rounder on account of how close it had been all the way through but Curtis pulled ahead in the eleventh and completely dominated the final round, awarding him with the victory.

Woodhouse has only been boxing professionally for eight years and, having had no amateur experience at all, had come straight from a professional football career which began at the age of 17 with Sheffield United; today he is the manager of Goole A.F.C. He won his first professional bout in 2006 via a points win and until 2012 remained active in both boxing and football. In December 2012, after six months’ service, Woodhouse resigned as manager from Sheffield F.C. to focus on boxing full-time. In the summer of 2011 Woodhouse took rising star and amateur sensation Frankie Gavin all the way, losing via a split decision. In September last year he was stopped in four by Derry Matthews in a bid to claim the Commonwealth lightweight title, but two subsequent victories earned him the shot against Hamilton.

Woodhouse has openly stated how he loves to fight, claiming to have had perhaps a hundred street fights and would often spar after football training to the dismay of Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock; his dogged drive of boxing came by way of a promise he made to his father as he lay dying in hospital, a promise to become British champion.

Leading up to the Hamilton fight the ‘Troll-Hunter’ spoke of it being his destiny to become British champion and win, lose or draw that fight would be his last. Curtis immediately confirmed this decision in a post-fight interview in reasoning how he could never top fulfilling his father’s promise, but in testament to his passion for fighting Woodhouse has since announced he will continue to box as he still has the ‘fire and hunger’.

Who Woodhouse will make the first defence of his British light-welterweight strap against is for now completely speculative.

Hamilton has of course asked for the rematch via Twitter but appears to be graceful over the issue and non-demanding. ‘Ammo’ indeed deserves the rematch on account of how close the first encounter was but in regarding such instances like Spencer Fearon, Hamilton’s manager and promoter, branding their initial clash as ‘a joke fight’ might mean that they do not get it immediately.

A name that I believe can be conclusively ruled out to face Woodhouse next is Swansea’s Chris Jenkins, who has propelled onto the domestic scene since winning ‘Prizefighter – light-welterweights III’ last July after only seven professional fights. In a Tweet posted initially to Eddie Hearn, I asked if there was a chance the fight could be made on a Cardiff show Matchroom are planning for May, but Woodhouse replied by stating that there was no such chance.

Much banter has been traded on Twitter between Woodhouse and Tommy Coyle regarding what would happen if they were to meet in the ring and opinions from boxing fans and observers seem to be split on a possible outcome. Hearn has said that Coyle might be moving up a division from lightweight but as of yet he has done nothing in the light-welterweight division to warrant a shot at the British title, a sentiment clearly expressed by Woodhouse on numerous times.

Commonwealth light-welterweight title holder Willie Limond has been mentioned as a fighter that Woodhouse would like to fight next, given his champion status and citing also the toughness of the Glaswegian. The bout would be certain to go down well with fans and a dustup for two belts is the sort of fight that Woodhouse needs and deserves, however talks between the two fighters seem to be non-existent.

With the recent news that Commonwealth lightweight holder Derry Matthews has been stripped of his title there is also the possibility of seeing Matthews move up a division; Woodhouse Tweeted that he would take the rematch at light-welterweight, as seemed appreciated by Matthews, as he would relish the chance to avenge the loss.

Whoever Curtis Woodhouse faces next it promises to be an exciting clash as he always comes to fight, and considering that he is ranked only behind Amir Khan in the top British light-welterweights, he pretty much has his pick of opponents.