"I've had an unbelievable ride. For eight and a half years I've faced some of the best that Britain's got to offer - I've won some and I've lost some, but I've achieved everything I wanted to achieve." Curtis Woodhouse said upon announcing his retirement on Thursday night.
The likeable Driffield man was once a highly touted professional football player, for teams such as Sheffield United, Rotherham United, Birmingham City, Peterborough United and Hull City. He also represented England at the under-21 level and quickly gained a reputation as a dynamic, uncompromising midfielder.
At 26-years-old, Woodhouse lost his way and fell out of love with the game he once dreamed of playing and went in search of a new challenge. He found that challenge in the boxing ring.
When Woodhouse started his new journey, he was mocked by many. He was forced to fight for the respect of the other boxers, as well as the British public, who thought the change of career was little more than a publicity stunt.
It took a twelve round war with Britain's only World Amateur Champion, Frankie Gavin, in 2011 to finally gain the acceptance of the boxing fraternity. Despite losing via split-decision on that night, the proud husband and father of three finally proved to the world that he was indeed a real fighter, with courage and ability.
More than eight years have passed and the 34-year-old East Yorkshireman has become one of the biggest heroes in British sport.
The British title victory over Darren Hamilton was without doubt the feel good story of the year.
For the entirety of his in-ring career, Woodhouse strived to lift the beautiful Lord Lonsdale Challenge belt. He had promised his ailing father, Bernard, that he would one day become British champion.
On February 22, he kept his promise and he achieved his dream in front of a packed Hull Ice Arena.
Now, without the stress of going through rigorous training camps for fights, Woodhouse can focus fully on his job of managing Goole A.F.C, who play in the Northern Premier League Division One South.
He can also dedicate more time to his beloved wife, Charlotte, and their three children; Kyle, Isla and Caleb.
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