Boxing debut set for Woodhouse
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Grimsby's Curtis Woodhouse will switch to professional boxing after the play-offs.
Grimsby Town's Curtis Woodhouse will end his footballing career in the League Two play-offs, as he takes up boxing.
Mariners manager Russell Slade thinks the powerful 26-year-old is mad to chose a career in the ring over one on the pitch, but realises it has been a boyhood dream for the player.
"I think he's absolutely crazy," the Mariners boss told Sky Sports News. "He must be absolutely nuts.
"It'll be interesting when he's been knocked out lying on that canvas, stars spinning round his head, whether he still thinks he's made the right decision.
"But it's a passion, it's been a passion with him since he was a young boy, since I had him at Sheffield United in fact."
The former Birmingham City man only moved to Blundell Park in January, but is happy to call it a day after leading Town through the play-offs.
And after making almost 300 appearances with six clubs, Woodhouse has no regrets about the decision to hang up his boots.
"I knew I was never going to play until I was 35, as boxing is something I've always wanted to do," Woodhouse revealed.
"It's always been a case of when I was going to stop playing.
"Now I feel the perfect opportunity has come for me. I'm at the right age, physically and mentally right and I'm prepared to do it."
He will have his first professional fight at Manchester's MEN Arena in July, competing at light middleweight, and he knows the size of the task he faces.
"Small venue for a debut!" he said. "There's a bit of pressure on me, but that's what drives you on when you get up at 6am, knowing that a lot of people will be there."
But for now Grimsby will need their midfield powerhouse fully focused on their semi-final play-off games against Lincoln City.