CURTIS Woodhouse is only one fight away from his much-treasured wish - a crack at a British title.
The former Sheffield United footballer lines up against Derbyshire southpaw Dale Miles at the Magna Centre, on a Dave Coldwell bill on June 8.
When he made the conversion from soccer to boxing in 2006, some people viewed him as little more than a PR stunt.
But a tilt at Londoner Ashley Theopane’s light welterweight belt will surely put that to bed, once and for all.
Woodhouse, 32, said: “I said from the outset that I wanted a British title and this eliminator is a direct route to it. I am up against a 5ft 11ins southpaw who stands in the middle of the ring and seems to knock everybody out. But he has never stood and traded with me. It is going to be a war. The one who falls over the most will lose. I cannot wait.”
Magna has been a happy hunting ground for Woodhouse, he has won there four times. “This one is going to be hard” he acknowledged. “I always seem to be the underdog and will be again. But he is not unbeatable and if nothing else I have a good chin. He’ll find out I am not afraid to get hit and give it back. It will be the toughest fight of his career.”
Miles, 27, has only been beaten once - that was his last fight, in February, to Huddersfield’s Tyrone Nurse. His dozen wins include nine knockouts.
Woodhouse (W16 [KO 11] Lost 3) is seeking his first title after losing on points against Frankie Gavin in WBO Inter-Continental title contest last July.
Trainer Mick Wale is urging his fighter Matthew Mallin to prove how good he is.
Mallin, 21, fights for his first professional title on Friday at Barnsley Metrodome against Leeds’ Jack Sunderland.
Mallin has sparred well with Ryan Rhodes in the past but Wale says that sometimes he blows hot and cold.
Despite racking up six wins as a pro, Wale believes there needs to be an improvement in the Stairfoot light-middleweight.
“Matthew’s had his six learning fights and it was time he stepped up because we need to see what he’s got,” said Wale. “He put in his best ever performance in his last fight but was poor in the one before, just scraping a win. He’ll need to improve again to beat Sunderland.”
A win for Buster would give the Wale camp a boost ahead of Mick’s son Josh’s fight with Sheffield super-bantamweight Kid Galahad.
“It’s up to Matthew now to prove he’s got what it takes to be a champion,” he said.