SUNDERLAND’S Kirk Goodings is to take on “celebrity” boxer Curtis Woodhouse in a title eliminator later this summer.
Goodings will face the former professional footballer – Woodhouse played for Sheffield United before spells with Birmingham, Hull and Grimsby – in August.
But the 33-year-old Yorkshireman will be no pushover, having won his first 10 professional fights and still boasting a record of 18 wins out of 23, 12 by knockout – going into this weekend’s bout against Kent-based Moroccan Joe Elfidh.
Goodings’ showdown with Woodhouse is a reward for the Nookside boxer’s impressive form, and for the tenacity of manager Phil Jeffries.
Jeffries wrote to the British Boxing Board of Control immediately after Goodings’ five-round victory over Devon’s Dean Mills last weekend.
He told the Echo: “I asked them to try and secure an opponent that would give Kirk the chance to progress because we are finding it harder and harder to get people prepared to face him.
“I’m delighted that we have got Woodhouse for a fight which will be an official eliminator for the English lightweight title.
“The fight has gone to purse bids with the proviso that the fight takes place by August 13. The next step for us is to try to secure the backing to bring the fight to the North East and give Kirk home advantage.
“I’m delighted for the lad because he deserves his chance to step up and those who were there for Sunday’s Summer Rumble at the Stadium of Light could see what a capable and exciting fighter he is.”
Goodings, 24, has a record of one defeat in 10 pro fights and that loss was itself a title fight – when he lost narrowly on points to Steve Williams in a battle for the vacant British Masters light-welterweight title.
The Wearsider took that fight at a week’s notice and came within a whisker of winning it.
And he told the Echo that, after beating Mills, he wants to step up.
“I enjoyed the fight and I enjoyed boxing in front of home fans,” he said.
“But now I want to box more regularly and also start looking for a title or two, that has to be next aim.”