Boxing: Curtis makes light work of new weight

Curtis Woodhouse Vs Sandor Horvath
Curtis Woodhouse Vs Sandor Horvath
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Calling Curtis Woodhouse a ‘lightweight’ would once have been an insult that only the daftest Twitter troll would have used.

The former Sheffield United footballer turned boxer - back in the ring after his well-publicised dust-up with a keyboard warrior - was trying his luck in the lightweight division for the first time.

It was the boxing Blade’s attempt to dominate the lighter division following the disputed loss of his English light-welter title to Shayne Singleton in March.

Even his manager, Dave Coldwell, had worried the dieting may take too much out of him.

Would he have the hunger for the sport at this weight - or would he just be plain hungry?

Step forward 19-year-old Sandor Hovarth - appropriately from Hungary.

He was Woodhouse’s opponent, during Friday’s show at Ponds Forge.

It was a scheduled 10-rounder.

It was nearer 10 seconds than 10 rounds. The malnourished-looking Hungarian was eaten alive.

After 96 seconds, Woodhouse flicked a routine left hook into his rival, who went down like a sack of spuds.

He got up, said he felt sick, walked on Bambi’s legs and then made his exit.

Hovarth had been a late replacement. He’d looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

But Woodhouse can only beat those put in front of him and was happy with his maiden bout at nine stone 10 ounces.

Of Hovarth, he said: “Everybody has got a plan to start with until they get smacked. As soon as I hit him hard, he ran out of plan.”

The Driffield fighter believes there are “great fights” ahead of him - he’d love to have a “war” with British champion Martin Gethin.

“I’d get in with anybody except (WBO champ) Ricky Burns. In sparring, he gave me a good hiding for a week.”

While the Woodhouse fight left questions unanswered, the main event certainly didn’t.

Nav Mansouri, of Rotherham, narrowly outpointed Tyan Booth, a Sheffield-based Ingle fighter, over 10 rounds to claim the English light-middleweight belt.

It provided a fascinating contrast in styles.

Mansouri was the pressure fighter who looked like he’d prosper on the inside. Booth, patient and awkward, absorbed the punishment and always looked capable of ending the night with an upper cut or a long-range counter-punch.

Mansouri started off the brighter but, with cornerman Dominic Ingle telling Booth that his opponent was tiring - “You have been in with better kids than this” - Booth rallied and looked liked he’d claimed a good few rounds.

The unanimous verdict was for Mansouri, though, 96-94, 98-94, 98-94.

Booth was inconsolable - but he can take many positives away from this.

On the undercard, flash Rotherham welterweight Chad Gaynor took 71 seconds to KO Sylwester Walczak.

Manor Park’s Liam Cameron took longer to get going against a muscular Harry Matthews, but the Blades fan comfortably outpointed him.

Joe Rodgers, a rare Wednesdayite on the bill, looked short of variety in his attack, but still outpointed Liam Ellis.

Middleweight Tom McAssey was dropped against an opponent who came into the ring with a nine-strong history of defeats to his name (Joe Jones) but survived to win a four-rounder.

Heavyweight David Howe overwhelmed Luke Martin, in an easy second-round stoppage. Muheeb “Flashy” Fazeldin, a Sheffield-Yemeni prospect, recorded his second pro win, over Anwar Alfadli. Welterweight Sam O’maison was too quick and heavy-handed for William Warburton.

Three Rotherham men triumphed: lightweight Atif Shafiq, aged 19, beat veteran loser Kris Laight, cruiser Karl Bell beat Stanislavs Makarenko and heavyweight Kash Ali laboured to his fourth straight win, this one over James Oliphant.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, tearful welterweight Lee Purdy - a replacement for injured Sheffielder Kell Brook - was pulled out at the end of the seventh round against world champion Devon Alexander in Atlantic City. Purdy failed to make the 147lb weight limit.

Brook is back in action, against former foe Carson Jones on July 13.