By Terence Dooley
Liverpool’s Derry Mathews will defend his Commonwealth lightweight title against Driffield’s Curtis Woodhouse the Liverpool Olympia on September 21st. Mathews is coming off a stunning come from behind 10th-round TKO win over Tommy Coyle in Hull’s Craven Park Stadium and is bound to serve up another war against Woodhouse. Dave Coldwell of Coldwell Boxing represents the two fighters, but they will put their allegiances to one side do battle in front of the champion’s Derry’s passionate Liverpool faithful on a show that sees Coldwell working with Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports.
Woodhouse, 19-5 (13), dispatched Joe Eldith in three rounds on the Hull show and he has looked strong since dropping down to within the lightweight vicinity following the loss of his English light-welterweight title in March — a tight decision defeat to Shayne Singleton. The 33-year-old contender makes no secret of his desire to win a British title in honour of his late father, and a win over Mathews, not to mention picking up the Commonwealth belt, would set him on the road to a crack at the Lonsdale belt.
Mathews, though, will have other ideas. The stunning win over Coyle was the latest in a long line of crowd-pleasing battles and the 33-8-2 (18) former British champion will no doubt relish the thought of tackling Woodhouse. One thing to bear in mind is that the 29-year-old can box as well; he was the 2002 ABA bantamweight champion. In the normal scheme of things, he would be heavily favoured over Woodhouse yet fans and pundits keep writing Mathews off, in part due to a run of torrid fights that has seen him become an undisputed fan favourite.
Still, Mathews has been back to the well more times than a man with a hole in his water bucket, can he dredge up the desire, form and will to hold Woodhouse off? Can the challenger maintain his strength late into a lightweight title fight or will the move down in weight tell on him? These two questions, amongst many others, will be answered on the night.
Rocky Fielding, Callum Smith and Thomas Stalker will all also feature on the show, and a request has been sent to the BBBoC to move Liam Smith versus Erick Ochieng for the vacant British light-middleweight title from Sheffield to Liverpool so that fight can also appear on the bill
“This has all the feel of a real throwback fight night and what better city to hold it than Liverpool,” said Eddie Hearn “Mathews vs. Woodhouse is expected to be a brutal affair, and Smith vs. Ochieng is a real pick’em fight. Rocky’s fight with Tony is a cracking local derby and a real crossroads affair, and with young talent like Callum, Thomas and Robbie on the bill, it’s going to be an action packed night. I’m delighted to be working with Dave Coldwell on this show and bringing a great night of action to Merseyside.”
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