With the highly-anticipated Derry Mathews v Curtis Woodhouse epic set to take place at the Liverpool Olympia on September 21st, boxing fans across the country are set for a fantastic tussle between two of boxing’s most outstanding warriors. Here are six gruelling battles that have given both these fighters their fearless reputation that they fully deserve.
Derry Mathews v Choi Tseveenpurev: 20th November 2010, York Hall, London
In arguably the greatest Prizefighter tournament of them all, Mathews, only months into a well-planned comeback following a premature retirement, was drawn against old rival Choi and was desperate for revenge after suffering a brutal 5th round defeat against the heavy-handed Mongolian two years earlier.
The pair met head on and had their moments throughout and despite feeling the full force of Choi’s hurtful intentions, Mathews was able to tough it out and fire back his own shots which forced his opponent to retreat onto the ropes. Mathews’ determination to settle the score was admirable and it was that willpower that earned him a unanimous verdict from the ringside judges.
Derry Mathews v Anthony Crolla: 21st April 2012, Oldham Leisure Centre, Oldham
The 2012 Fight of the Year according to many boxing experts was a six round struggle that both fighters may be forever remembered for. Mathews, fighting for his career, was a massive underdog against the in-form Mancunian and his stoppage defeat to classy Italian, Emiliano Marsili, three months earlier had most anticipating an early Crolla stoppage.
After trailing in the fight’s opening two sessions, Mathews found a perfect uppercut to floor Crolla in the third and from then on the fight took a major swing in the popular Scouser’s favour. Crolla, bleeding heavily, still found glimpses of successes but a barrage of attacks from Mathews in the sixth round was enough to convince the referee to halt the action. The pair engaged in battle once again a year later and another see-saw encounter was ultimately called a draw.
Curtis Woodhouse v Dale Miles: 8th June 2012, Magna Centre, Rotherham
A fight dubbed “the greatest I’ve ever promoted” by Dave Coldwell was a British title eliminator settled by one of the most devastating KO’s ever seen in a British ring. With both desperate to earn a crack at the prestigious Lonsdale title, neither man disappointed in their quest for domestic glory.
From the opening bell, both fighters refused to take a backward step and it was only a matter of time before one fell to the other’s aggressive strategy. Woodhouse began well as he bossed the majority of the fight’s early rows but a chilling exchange in the fifth round was the beginning of the end for the former footballer as a perfect right hook from Miles finished Woodhouse’s hopes.
Curtis Woodhouse v Dave Ryan: 28th September 2012, Magna Centre, Rotherham
Three months after his crushing loss to Miles, Woodhouse was handed a dream opportunity by promoter Dave Coldwell, as he challenged for the vacant English light-welterweight title against Derby’s Dave Ryan.
Like the Miles fight, Woodhouse was never far from his opponent and the pair set off at a blistering pace trying to establish a key advantage. After scoring a knockdown in the third round, Woodhouse had his confidence raised and that began to tell as he dominated the middle rounds. Ryan was not deterred by his opponent’s boost and fought back best he could but the majority result handed to Woodhouse after ten well-fought round was the right call.
Curtis Woodhouse v Joe Elfidh: 13th July 2013, Craven Park, Hull
In what was meant to be a serious test of Woodhouse’s lightweight credentials, the Driffield fighter totally ignored the script as he tore through the oft-durable Elfidh in blistering style. A quality amateur who had asked questions of Kieran Farrell and Scott Harrison, Elfidh had no answers to Woodhouse’s pressure tactics as he hit the deck in every round before being stopped in three.
Derry Mathews v Tommy Coyle: 13th July 2013, Craven Park, Hull
Sharing the spotlight with Woodhouse on the bumper outdoor show celebrating the professional debut of cherished Olympian, Luke Campbell, Mathews stole the show as he produced the knockout of his career against Coyle when it appeared the fight was lost.
The pair had argued plenty on social networking sites during the build-up and it appeared that bragging rights would belong to Coyle as he bossed the contest from the get-go. Operating at a level he wasn’t used to, Coyle paid for his inexperience as he made his sole mistake of the contest. That error was to prove costly as it paved the way for Mathews to land a perfect left hook on Coyle’s exposed target to earn him the most unlikeliest victory in what has been a remarkable career.