Footballer-turned-fighter Curtis Woodhouse reckons more high-profile fighters will make the switch to bareknuckle boxing after he decided to ditch his gloves.
The former British super-lightweight champion makes his bareknuckle boxing debut at London’s O2 Indigo on Saturday, March 30 – and is convinced more big names will follow in his footsteps.
“High-profile names are ringing me and asking me about bareknuckle boxing,” said Woodhouse.
“I’ve had former British and European champions asking me: ‘What’s this bareknuckle boxing all about ?’ I’m sure they will be coming over as well.”
Woodhouse was a professional boxer until last year. He was set to box John Wayne Hibbert in a Commonwealth title eliminator last February, but the fight fell through after the tragic death of Scott Westgarth in the previous fight.
That hit Woodhouse hard and he added: “I was struggling to get meaningful fights, my gym had just opened and I didn’t really have the time or patience to sit around waiting for the ‘phone to ring.
“I lost a bit of faith in boxing, so I stepped away from it, but I still wanted to fight. I just didn’t want to get thrown to the lions at short notice.
“I heard the buzz about bareknuckle boxing and saw that Tyler Goodjohn was doing it. The thing with bareknuckle boxing is, they are all fighting men who will get in there and fight each other and that’s what I want.
“People assume I’m doing this for the money. I don’t fight for money, I fight for glory. I have a gym with 100 people coming through the door every day. I love teaching boxing, but I can still compete and the buzz of competing is impossible to replicate.
“Bareknuckle boxing has given me the best buzz I’ve ever had. It is right up my street. This is how I learned how to fight. I didn’t have amateur bouts, I fought in pub car parks.”