By Shaun Bown
Curtis Woodhouse 16-3 (11) isn’t normally one to mince his words. And the Yorkshire light welterweight didn’t beat about the bush when discussing Lee McAllister’s recent dismal attempt to win the 140lb European title.
“If you don’t want to go to war you don’t join the army,” Woodhouse’s blunt assessment of McAllister’s decision to retire on his stool after seven rounds [Editor’s note: McAllister has since confirmed that he has torn the tendons in his left arm].
This certainly wasn’t a boxing metaphor that I had come across before but it’s easy to understand why the 31-year old said it. If you choose to join the armed forces you don’t sign up for a pay check and take your military service for granted do you?
An Aberdonian crowd of over three thousand people roared McAllister on as he made his ring walk on Saturday night and the atmosphere could have reached similar levels to Alex Arthur vs. Michael Gomez from 2003, one of the greatest fights to have ever taken place on Scottish and British soil.
“When the national anthems were being played the hairs were standing on the back of my neck, it was unbelievable. Tommy Gilmour’s done a fantastic job promoting Lee,” said Woodhouse.
As McAllister licks his wounds and looks to rebuild his career with a defence of his Commonwealth title, the first fight of 2012 for Woodhouse looks to be a British title eliminator against recent Prizefighter contestant Dale Miles with purse bids going out in March for that particular bout.
The ex-professional footballer is in search of glory and he doesn’t care where he has to go or who he has to fight to get it. Even if that means a trip of almost 400 miles north of the border to fight the recently defeated McAllister for his Commonwealth strap.
“I’d fight Lee, like I said he’s a good kid but business is business. He’s got one of the domestic belts and I want it. I’ll go anywhere; I’ll do anything for fights like that. If that means going to Aberdeen to fight Lee then fine. I’ll jump at the chance to fight for that or the British title.
I’m confident I can beat anyone in Britain and prove I am the best I just need that opportunity.”
With a “good offer” rejected by British champion Ashley Theophane to fight Woodhouse and an intriguing battle with Northern Ireland’s Paul McCloskey falling through because of alleged promotional differences, the former Sheffield Utd and Birmingham midfielder may have to sit tight and be patient for another opportunity after giving Frankie Gavin, potentially a future British superstar, his toughest night to date when losing a split decision last July.
“I fractured my elbow four days before I fought Frankie Gavin,” Woodhouse said when returning to the subject of Lee McAllister. “In the third round of my fight against Steffy Bull I fractured my right hand and still stopped him in the ninth. Fighters hurt all parts of themselves during fights all the time. To retire the way he did left a bad taste in my mouth.”
Whether it be Miles, McAllister, Theophane or even Shafikov it’s safe to say that every door is being knocked on vigorously by Woodhouse.
“I’m gonna have to boot them down with both feet to get these fights. I know what I want. Win, lose or draw I’m willing to take all necessary risks.”