Curtis Woodhouse says he will honour his late father and win the British title
Last Updated: 21/02/14 6:59pm
Woodhouse: wants to end on an emotional high
Curtis Woodhouse has vowed to fulfil a promise to his late father by ending his career with a British title win against Darren Hamilton.
Woodhouse famously quit a lucrative career as a footballer to become a boxer and the 33-year-old will retire after challenging champion Hamilton for his British light-welterweight title, live on Sky Sports 2 on Saturday.
His father Bernard backed Woodhouse's brave decision, urging him to follow his dream, but he tragically died of a stroke five years before his son's career-defining night.
Woodhouse made a promise that he would one day be crowned British champion and will not let Hamilton stand in his way this weekend.
"Everyone knows the story about me losing my Dad five years ago," he told Sky Sports. "The last thing I told him was that I was going to become British champion.
"It's something that's drives me on, definitely through the down parts of my career, like in all sports, when you feel like packing it in. It's dragged me through that."
Hamilton is a hot favourite to retain his title, but Woodhouse insists he has been written off since the day he turned professional in 2006.
The former Birmingham City player exceeded expectations by winning the English title in 2012 and can look back fondly on a hard-fought points defeat against Frankie Gavin.
This meeting with Hamilton in Hull gives Woodhouse the chance to end on a high and he will walk away from the sport - win or lose.
"Yeah, my aim is to go out as British champion. Go out on a high," said the former midfielder.
"That's what I always envisioned. A lot of fighters say they are going to retire -to actually walk away as British champion will be tough, but that's what I aim on doing."
There has been no shortage of needle between the two at the press conference and the weigh-in when they both came they made the limit at 9st 13lbs 13oz apiece.
There could well be some familiar faces in Woodhouse's corner which might be why Woodhouse is confident of upsetting the odds.
"Being the underdog don't mean nothing to me," he said. "When I was 10 years old, people told me I'd never be a footballer, but I did it.
"Yeah, my aim is to go out as British champion. Go out on a high. That's what I always envisioned. A lot of fighters say they are going to retire -to actually walk away as British champion will be tough, but that's what I aim on doing."
"When I was 26, everyone told me I'd do nothing as a boxer, but I ended up becoming champion of England. I boxed for the Commonwealth title and now I'm fighting for the British title, so I've been the underdog my whole life. It's something I'm used to.
"He's a fighter I respect, he's a good fighter and I think he's five to one on in the betting. The bookies don't normally get it wrong, but they've got this one wrong."
Woodhouse has suffered painful defeats along the way, losing a controversial points decision to Shayne Singleton, and being halted in dramatic fashion by Derry Mathews.
But his dedication to the sport could not be questioned and he hopes to leave a lasting mark on boxing in his final fight.
"It would mean everything. It's hard to put into words what it would mean to me," said Woodhouse.
"I could go to sleep a happy man because sometimes the thought of not fulfilling my dream keeps me up at night.
"It will be nice to get a good night's sleep, knowing I've done it."