Former Sheffield United football star Curtis Woodhouse tried to take one last step to glory in the boxing ring on Friday night, but came up short against Willie Limond despite a brave effort that continued to the final bell.
Woodhouse is a man who has faced constant criticism over the years for turning his back on a successful football career and deciding to becoming a professional boxer. Many have labelled Woodhouse as a joke over the years but he has proven in recent performances that he is a man who deserves full respect.
For any man to enter the ring it takes real courage but for a former professional football player to make a career out of it is even more courageous.
Woodhouse fulfilled a long-term aim in becoming British champion in his last fight against then-champion Darren Hamilton. It was a fantastic show from both men with real desire to win shown on both sides.
Woodhouse was marshalled Adam Booth and came out on top in a close fight. He had shown that he is no joke as a boxer and that he really can mix it with some very good fighters.
Woodhouse was overcome with emotion following the fight and looked set to retire having done so well. He was however to decide that he had one more challenge left in the ring and decided to box on.
He was to defend his recently gained British title against the experienced Willie Limmond in a bout which would see Limmond's Commonwealth strap also on the line.
Limmond is a very good technical boxer who has been in with some great names such as Amir Khan and Eric Morales. He lacks a bit of punch power which seems to have stopped him from progressing much further than this current domestic level.
Both men handled themselves like true gentleman before the fight, during the fight and after the fight and showed themselves to be credits to the sport of boxing.
Woodhouse answered the questions of if he would have the determination to dig deep following his success at gaining the British title as he put in so much work on the night. Limmond had been out of the ring for a year but he is a true professional who always keeps himself in good physical shape.
The fight started with both men having moments of success without ever really dominating when suddenly Woodhouse was floored near the end of the third round with an absolute peach of an uppercut.
Woodhouse returned to his feet and appeared to be saved by the bell at the end of the round. Many boxers wouldn't have been able to get back up from such a hit as it landed flush in his face.
Woodhouse looked to up the tempo and force the older Limmond to fight at a quicker pace. The jab had good success and Woodhouse used his left to the body well at times too.
Woodhouse was usually the fighter coming forward but at times he was being picked off by the Scotsman in what was a highly entertaining contest. Both men had periods of success but both began to fade in the later rounds due to the high pace set.
Limmond was to seize the initiative again in the fight in the 11th round by flooring Woodhouse again. Knowing that he needed a huge round coming into the 12th and final round, Woodhouse tirelessly went to work trying to achieve something remarkable. He did well but he was unable to get the big round that he needed.
Limmond went on to take the decision from the judges in a fight which he deserved to win but it had been a tough, entertaining fight to watch. Both men proved themselves to be hard-working, dedicated fighters who would give it all in the ring.
For Limmond this was the seizure of the British title which he had tried to gain some 11 years ago and the delight was obvious on his face. This would appear to be the end of the line for Woodhouse who has achieved his dream in the sport and who has proved the doubters wrong.
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