Sport

A different kind of birthday for boxer Jason Curtis

Not many boxers celebrate a 40th birthday with a British title – but Jason Curtis did.

TOP MAN: Jason Curtis on his way to overcoming Wayne O’Neill and winning the EBF British title (Picture: Kipax)

Not many boxers celebrate a 40th birthday with a British title – but Jason Curtis did.

The Kororo battler turns 40 tomorrow and has been a late comer to boxing after winning several kickboxing titles.

But he turned on the style at the Norbreck Castle in Blackpool last weekend to clinch the EBF British middleweight title.

Father-of-six Curtis was up against former military man Wayne O’Neill. who had 30 fights with 29 wins and a draw.

Curtis, who owns the Dale Street gym, has had 13 battles, winning all 13 with 10 by KO.

"I really wanted to win this, more than anything else and I inflicted the first defeat on him. I wanted the British title before I turned 40 too!" said Curtis.

Curtis turned to boxing in his mid-30s following a kickboxing career with British titles, three English belts and a European title challenge, losing to Tommy McAfferty.

"I always had more of a boxers style of fighting and really the change was quite natural," said Curtis.

"I went to spar in Manchester for a massive kickboxing tournament featuring me, the British champion at the next weight up and three World and European kickboxing champions.

"There were eight of us and it was a big money event and it never came off. But while I was sparring in Manchester, they said I would be suited to be boxing so I just decided to have a go.

"I had also begun coaching Luke Blackledge at boxing so it just took off from there."

The EBF is boxing at a semi-professional. "There is the Boxing Board of Control which is for professionals, the ABA for amatuers and the EBF for semi-professional boxers," explained Curtis.

"The EBF is becoming more well known; there are around 1,500 fighters, they are getting television coverage and there is the chance to go all over Europe.

"I have taken on a lot of fights and last year, after three fights, I was ranked number one in the EBF so that’s why I took the title fight."

It was over six, two-minute rounds which Curtis won on a unanimous decision and will now aim for another title – but not before he puts on his coach’s hat this weekend.

Blackledge is looking to make it nine wins out of nine when he meets Matthew Barney.

He said: "This is a massive fight for Luke and a real step up. Matthew took Carl Froch to 11 rounds and is a former British title holder."

Kickboxer Mickey Worswick, is also in action.

He is going for the ICO British middleweight and light-middleweight titles over the next month.

"Then we hope to get him an ISKA European title fight by the end of the month," added Curtis.

"Luckily my wife is supportive as I must spend over 50 hours in the gym a week as well as travelling to shows every weekend."