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Curtis Woodhouse: Glasgow is nothing...I’ve played in a Sheffield derby!

Curtis Woodhouse (right) and Willie Limond ahead of their fight in Glasgow on Friday

Curtis Woodhouse (right) and Willie Limond ahead of their fight in Glasgow on Friday

British light-welterweight champion Curtis Woodhouse has experienced the heat of a Sheffield derby - so he has no fears over the hostile reception that awaits him in Glasgow.

The former Sheffield United midfielder, who also featured for the blue half of Birmingham in a second city clash with Aston Villa, is taking on Glasgow’s Commonwealth champion Willie Limond at Braehead Arena on Friday night with both belts up for grabs.

The 34-year-old retired immediately after winning the title from Darren Hamilton on home territory in Hull in February - but he was soon tempted back into the ring when presented with the chance to take on Limond in Scotland.

Woodhouse said: “I played against Sheffield Wednesday for Sheffield United - they gave me a fair bit of abuse. I played for Birmingham against Aston Villa. I played in some real big derby games.

“But they are not so much abusing you, they are abusing the team. Whereas this time the hatred is going to be aimed at me.

“I will probably come in to boos but I expect after the fight I will have gained the fans’ respect. I don’t expect to be their favourite person, as long as I have gained their respect.

“I have never experienced a Scottish crowd, only heard it on the TV. That’s what brought me up here, it sounds amazing. To be part of a big night in Scotland is a dream come true.

“I enjoy being the pantomime villain, it will drive me on because I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of seeing me get beat.”

Although Woodhouse is full of respect for Limond, who will be making his third attempt at winning a British title, he believes he has a “big advantage”. The Beverley-born fighter has had seven fights in the period in which the 35-year-old Scot has won his two Commonwealth title fights.

“I’ve had seven training camps in two years and Willie has had two,” he said. “So I’ve always been in condition.

“Obviously Willie might still have been in the gym but there’s a difference between being in the gym ticking over and and being in there training hard. My body is rock solid and there is not an ounce of fat on me. I’m ready to rumble.”

Woodhouse takes on Limond before Ricky Burns makes his comeback fight following the loss of his world title as he takes on unbeaten Motenegrin Dejan Zlaticanin in a WBC lightweight eliminator.

Cruiserweight rivals and former amateur team-mates Stephen Simmons and Wadi Camacho are set for their grudge match with the Edinburgh man’s WBC International Silver belt on the line.

The pair have clashed in press conferences and on social media and were at it again at the weigh-in when a kilt-wearing Camacho pushed Simmons away by the throat as the Scot moved his head into his opponent’s during the face-off.

 

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