WINNING JOY: Curtis Woodhouse celebrates his title victory
FORMER PREMIER League footballer Curtis Woodhouse signed off from his boxing career in style as he was crowned British champion and won £250,000 in the process.
It was an eventful Saturday (Feb 22) evening for the ex-Sheffield United and Birmingham City midfielder, who only started his boxing career in 2006.
He beat defending champion Darren Hamilton on a split decision in Hull to be crowned British light-welterweight Champion, and then retired immediately afterwards.
The 33-year-old had also placed a £5,000 wager when he switched sports on becoming champion at odds of 50/1, meaning he scooped a whopping £250,000 in winnings. Speaking after his victory, Woodhouse dedicated the win to his father who died five years ago after suffering a stroke.
The last thing he had said to his dad was that he was going to become champion.
“How can I ever top what happened tonight? I wanted to bow out as champion and I plan to stick to it,” he said, confirming his retirement.
“I can't believe it. When I said I was going to be a professional boxer, everyone laughed at me.
“I had the audacity to say I'd be British champion. I'd like to dedicate this to my late dad.”
The result means that Woodhouse, who idolised Mike Tyson and Nigel Benn as a boy, finishes his boxing career with 22 wins from 28. His debut was a points win against Dean Marcantonio in September 2006.
The former footballer described his final fight as the hardest of his life and was coy when questioned about his wager.
"There is a rumour going around that I had a £5,000 bet on myself to win the British title at 50-1,” he added.
"I can neither confirm or deny these rumours but the drinks are on me.
"I have fought some really good guys but that was the hardest fight of my life."
He will now focus on his job as manager of Northern Premier League Division One South side Goole, who are currently 14th in their league. He was appointed as manager in January 2014 after boss David Holdsworth resigned. Woodhouse, who was previously boss of Sheffield FC but quit after struggling to combine the role with boxing, joined the club as Assistant Manager in October 2013.