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Box To Box From The Premier League to British Boxing Champion By Curtis Woodhouse

Release date: 19th October, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

List Price: £16.99
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It doesn’t take long to get an early inkling of Curtis Woodhouse’s motivation and ambition. Sat in a bar with his pub landlord father, he reveals that, despite the ridiculous amount of money he’s earning as a professional footballer, much of which has been wasted on booze, he has had enough and wants to become a professional boxer instead.

Woodhouse clearly idolised his old man, so when he’s told, in no uncertain terms, that he should either become a pro boxer or never mention the subject again, it’s evident that Woodhouse is motivated again. Boxing, which he describes as his ‘first love’ it is.

For a variety of reasons, most sports fans never get close to making it in one professional sport, yet Woodhouse reached the top in two. That he would go from playing football in England’s top flight (winning four England under-21 caps en route) to British light-welterweight boxing champion within 28 professional fights is a remarkable feat, one for which Woodhouse has never received the recognition he deserved.

Woodhouse had always been a brawler and admits to being involved in dozens of fights, but there’s a marked difference between smacking a teenager in the street or pushing and shoving on a football pitch and the noble art.

Mike Tyson was a fine example of a young man who could (and would) go off the rails, yet thanks to a combination of hard work, excellent coaching, application and talent, he was able to harness an inner anger and go on to become a fearsome world champion. Woodhouse is clearly hewn from similar stuff which made your reviewer wonder how far he could have gone as a boxer had he chosen the ring over the football pitch.

He was undoubtedly a good footballer – making his debut for Sheffield United at the age of 17, he would become the Blades’ youngest-ever captain while still in his teens and later commanded a seven-figure transfer fee when moving to Birmingham City. Yet, while it’s difficult to say with any degree of accuracy, he was probably a better, more accomplished, boxer.

Box To Box doesn’t answer that supposition definitively, though it does show what anyone with drive and ambition can achieve if they work hard enough.


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