Derry Mathews v Curtis Woodhouse – Liverpool Olympia Card Preview
By Peter Wells
This weekend is sure to be one to savour for British fight fans, BoxNation offer a wide selection of high quality fights, many which could quite easily stand as main events on their own. While Sky Sports will have the fight of the weekend when Derry Matthews 33-8-2(18) clashes with ex-footballer Curtis Woodhouse 19-5(13).
Expected to be a thriller, Matthews nor Woodhouse ever seem to feature in a fight lacking knockouts, knockdowns and general excitement. The fight takes place at the Olympia in Liverpool and the two will fight for Derry’s newly won Commonwealth Lightweight title.
To win that title Matthews had to forge out arguably the best punch of his career when dropping and stopping Tommy Coyle in the 10th, having lost all 9 rounds prior. It was Coyle’s coming out party that was ruined by an exceptionally timed left hook from the explosive hands of Matthews.
Those fists have also been the un-doing of numerous other British Lightweights in recent years. Anthony Crolla was drawn into a war before Matthews stopped the Mancunian in the 6th, the rematch earlier this year ended in a draw. But while Matthews has knockout power he has also been on the receiving end of 7 stoppages loses. Choi Tseveenpurev, Scott Lawton, Martin Lindsay, Gary Buckland and Gavin Rees as well as others have succeeded in stopping the tough Liverpudlian.
Woodhouse, most famous for giving an internet troll the scare of his life, has had an up and down boxing career thus far. Two early career defeats to journeyman were followed by a striking display against Frankie Gavin, ultimately losing a split decision. Dale Miles became the first and thus far only fighter to stop Woodhouse, before Shayne Singleton squeaked past Woodhouse with a close decision win.
Matthews has mixed with the best there is to offer in the domestic Lightweight scene, but the question marks linger over him after the Tommy Coyle fight. The chances of Woodhouse boxing in the same way that Coyle did are highly unlikely, expect Curtis to take this fight toe-to-toe with Matthews for as long as the fight lasts.
The pick is for the bigger Woodhouse to use his physical superiority to good use after the opening 5 rounds. Both boxers will have taken punishment before Woodhouse can force a stoppage in the final 3 rounds, taking his biggest scalp to date and potentially setting up a mouth-watering clash with British champion Martin Gethin.
On the undercard prospects Liam Smith and Erick Ochieng collide in a 50/50 fight. Smith 14-0-1(5) looks to make history alongside brothers, Paul and Stephen if he can succeed in becoming the third brother to hold a Lonsdale belt. His opponent though is a step up in class as Ochieng 14-1(4) is on a roll after an early career setback. During that roll Erick has defeated, Nick Quigley, A.A Lowe, Ryan Toms and Max Maxwell – prior to Maxwell’s slide – as well as others.
Liam also had to come back from an early setback, but has only recently stepped up his level of opposition. Beating both Gary McMillan and Steve O’Meara on the cards before defeating Max Maxwell, albeit Maxwell was far from the same fighter that Ochieng engaged with.
This fight will come down to who can employ their fight plan best, and for me that man will be the ever improving Smith. It will no doubt be a close contest but Smith can utilise his boxing abilities to their upmost in a contest that is unquestionably for the purists. If Ochieng can drag Smith into the trenches then the end result could be very different but the tentative pick is for Smith to take the British crown.
Rocky Fielding 15-0(8) also features on the card, contesting the vacant Commonwealth Super Middleweight title with Mohammed Akrong 19-5(15). The pick is for Fielding to tame the big punching Akrong, winning the contest on the cards.
The youngest of the Smith brothers steps up in class when Callum Smith 7-0(5) looks to beat the awkward Patrick Mendy 14-6-1(1). The pick is for Smith to win a very close decision although an upset in favour of Mendy would not come as a surprise.
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