If Curtis Woodhouse has a few butterflies in his stomach as he sets about the task of winning the British title, it’s a fair bet his trainer, stood crouched in his corner, will be feeling just the same.
For retired champion Ryan Rhodes - who has boxed some of the world’s best - admits he will have a job to conquer his nerves, too. It will be only the second time he has been in the corner at a professional match.
And the stakes are high, with Woodhouse having a one-time-only shot at the title that means so much to him.
So not even a personal 52-fight history, against the likes of Saul Alvarez and Jamie Moore will prepare Rhodes for the feeling in the pit of his stomach.
“After speaking to fellow fighters that have gone into the corners to help fighters out...it’s a very nerve-wracking experience but one I am looking forward to” said Rhodes. “I am a massive friend of Curtis. It will be the second time I have been in a corner and it is going to be for a British title so the nerves will definitely be there. I know Curtis probably better than he knows himself. I’ve trained with him for five years. I know what he does well and what he needs to work on. Once that bell goes I am in the corner and I know what he is doing well I will know how to speak to him and what will bring him round.”
Woodhouse, 33, faces the reigning British champion at light welter, Darren Hamilton, 35, from Bristol, at the Ice Arena, Hull on February 22.
Rhodes has tried to add a degree of versatility to former Sheffield United footballer Woodhouse’s come-forward style. “People know he can fight but what they don’t know, is that the can also box” the trainer said on video at thestar.co.uk. Woodhouse’s jab was improving and by the time he faces Hamilton he will have had four strong months of training, said Rhodes.
Of Hamilton, Rhodes said: “He doesn’t do anything brilliant. Nothing stands out. But he does little things well.”
“He has a great jab and good work rate.
“He’s not the biggest puncher but what he does, works for him. We are up against a good fighter, but not a Floyd Mayweather, somebody I really believe Curtis can beat.”