Boxing: Risk-taker Curtis primed for ring return

Dave Coldwell, left, and Curtis Woodhouse.
Dave Coldwell, left, and Curtis Woodhouse.
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Promoter Dave Coldwell believes Curtis Woodhouse is taking the biggest risk of his boxing career in moving down a weight category.

After controversially losing his English light-welterweight title to Shayne Singleton in March, Woodhouse will return to the ring on Friday as the headline act of Coldwell’s ‘Big City, Lights Out’ show at Ponds Forge Arena.

Although the former Sheffield United footballer has performed admirably in the 10st division over the last year, Woodhouse has decided to chance his arm at lightweight level. His debut fight in that category will be against Nicaraguan Carlos Winston Velasquez.

Coldwell, Woodhouse’s manager, told The Star: “It is a bit of a gamble. Curtis has got a very wide back, quite a big frame and is not the tallest of guys. He is quite comfortable with the weight but it is the last couple of pounds which are difficult to shift. We will manage him and see how he goes on. He feels great at the moment and is very confident he can make the weight but he doesn’t know how strong he will be in the ring.

“I’d advise everyone not to write him off because he’s fully focused on causing a real stir domestically.”

Woodhouse has been working closely with a nutritionist in the last few weeks to help monitor his diet and weight loss. Should the 33-year-old respond positively to the switch, Coldwell reckons his future could be at lightweight.

“It is a gamble but if he is strong at the weight, he will be in for some big nights,” stressed Coldwell. “You’ve people such as Derry Matthews, Gavin Rees and Kevin Mitchell in the lightweight division so these could be exciting times for Curtis.

“If all goes to plan, we could be looking at some fantastic match-ups in the near future.”

Winston Velasquez’s record reads 20 victories from 37 bouts and Coldwell hopes he will give Woodhouse a tough work-out.

Coldwell added: “It is a massive change for Curtis so we don’t want him to be fighting for three to four rounds. We want him to still be in the ring for the latter rounds.

“If Curtis goes in and feels lethargic, then we know that’s the weight and we would move him back to light-welterweight.”

On the undercard, Nav Mansouri will now lock horns with Tyan Booth after Nathan Graham, his original opponent, was forced to pull out of their English light middleweight title clash due to injury.

Promising Rotherham prospect Chad Gaynor faces Polish fighter Sylwester Walczak while Sheffield heavyweight David Howe will be looking for his 10th career win. He takes on Luke Martin from Wiltshire.

Of Gaynor, Coldwell said: “Chad is one of the best up-and-coming fighters in this country and he’s going to surprise a lot of people when he starts fighting for titles.”