Sheffield boxing: time to hang up the gloves Curtis

Curtis Woodhouse (right) and Willie Limond in action in the Commonwealth (British Empire) light welterweight title and BBBofC British light welterweight title bout at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow. Pic: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Curtis Woodhouse (right) and Willie Limond in action in the Commonwealth (British Empire) light welterweight title and BBBofC British light welterweight title bout at the Braehead Arena, Glasgow. Pic: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
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After a gallant, but ultimately unsuccessful pursuit of the Commonwealth title, Curtis Woodhouse’s gloom was deepened, immeasurably, by the knowledge that he’d also lost his much-cherished British belt.

Yet this resourceful character still found the sound-bites needed to please the TV audience.

My first thought was a selfish one: Please don’t retire Curtis. You’re too big a character, too good a story. A journalist’s dream.

But today I’ve changed my mind. It’s time to hang up the gloves. Curtis had picked up his first pair at 26. He was derided as a novelty act - the former Sheffield United footballer who was beating hand-selected nobodies. How wrong they were. After eight years of toiling through the ranks, in February, he won the Lonsdale belt, nailing all suggestions he was an unworthy distraction to the Sweet Science.

Woodhouse ‘retired;’ but came back for Willie Lomond’s Commonwealth title. He wanted to find out whether he could go that next level. Now he’s found out. And I think it is time Woodhouse found a fresh challenge.

Limond, a veteran of scraps against Khan, Alex, Morales and Crolla, hadn’t boxed in 12 months and was, arguably, there for the taking. But after 12 rounds on Saturday at Braehead Arena, the better man had won. The Blade turned light welter had never really troubled his opponent. Instead, he was decked twice. The first a left upper cut (round three) that the TV cameras had earlier filmed him practising in his dressing room. Limond’s right had did the same trick, with the same effect, in the 11th.

Astonishingly one judge ruled it a draw. Yet Limond had certainly deserved the win. Woodhouse was “devastated” to lose his belt, which had been dedicated to his late father. But this unique character had no complaints. “I want to spend some time with my family” he said, adding tellingly: “Those around me don’t want me back in there. You can’t take away the fact I was a British champion, my name is on the list of some great British champions. I am proud of what I achieved.”