What's buzzing:

Boxer combats cyberbullying by tracking down his Twitter bully

Yahoo Sports

View gallery


Curtis Woodhouse, 32, is a former soccer player turned professional boxer. (Getty Images)

Boxer Curtis Woodhouse lived out the private fantasy of countless athletes on Monday, forcing a confrontational Twitter tormentor to back down by turning up at his house.

Woodhouse, a former professional soccer player in his native United Kingdom, snapped upon receiving a series of taunting tweets from a user named "The Master" after losing his English lightweight title to Shayne Singleton in a controversial bout last weekend.

"Whats funny u put so much effort in, sacrificed all that time and failed to defend your Mickey Mouse title," was one of the more palatable messages from the @jimmyob88 handle, part of a stream of rants laced with offensive language.

View gallery


Curtis Woodhouse tweeted this photo of the road where his cyberbully lives. (@Woodhousecurtis)

Yet the keyboard warrior soon had the wind taken out of his sails when Woodhouse apparently tracked down the user's address and drove to his street, believed to be in Sheffield in the northern English county of Yorkshire.

Upon his arrival, Woodhouse tweeted a photograph of the street sign, stating: "Right Jimbob, I'm here! Someone tell me what number he lives at, or do I have to knock on every door."

At that point the clearly (and understandably) flustered Twitter "troll" decided discretion was the better part of valor, and hastily retreated into a neutral corner of cyberspace, offering a series of apologetic messages and insisting his taunts were merely intended in jest.

Woodhouse took his leave and it is understood that the pair never met face to face, but by the time the fighter had returned home his actions had gone viral on the Internet.

The extraordinary exchange prompted a flood of social media attention for the 32-year-old, who turned his back on soccer at the age of 26 after becoming disillusioned with the sport, despite earning a significantly higher salary than he subsequently managed in boxing.

Former world champion boxer Ricky Hatton messaged Woodhouse to voice his amusement, as did notorious English soccer player Joey Barton, who now plays for Marseille in France. Barton, who has routinely become involved in Twitter arguments in the past, went so far as to describe Woodhouse as "my hero."

Followers even likened his vigilante approach to that of actor Liam Neeson in the somewhat painful "Taken" movies that remarkably avoided the Oscars radar.

Ever since Twitter became part of the culture of modern sports, athletes have lamented their susceptibility to unfettered abuse, with pro tennis player Rebecca Marino citing cyberbullying as a major reason behind her retirement at the age of 22.

Woodhouse took a more confrontational approach that might not be to everyone's taste, though given his antagonist's trembling reaction it seems unlikely that he will be troubled by the same source again.

On a personal note, this is not only one of the more unusual stories I have written, but also one of the most surprising. I dealt with Woodhouse on several occasions during his soccer career and he always came across as being especially mild-mannered, to the extent that it was a major surprise when his change of career became known.

But it goes to show that everyone has their limit – and that a professional fighter might not be the most sensible target for aspiring Twitter tormentors.

More news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
Which low-contact sport produces NFL stars?
Frantic Tom Crean polarizes, puts Indiana back on the map
Hooters ball girl has nowhere to hide after humiliating mistake

View Comments (2146)
  • Lucroy 3 RBIs, Brewers beat Pirates for 5th straight time

    Lucroy 3 RBIs, Brewers beat Pirates for 5th straight time

    Jonathan Lucroy is finally getting locked in at the plate. It took a while for the Milwaukee Brewers catcher after he was sidelined for more than a month earlier this season with a broken toe. Lucroy drove in three runs and extended his hitting … More »

    AP - Sports - 3 minutes 33 seconds ago
  • Venus seeks sisterly advice to take down Swiss teenager

    Venus seeks sisterly advice to take down Swiss teenager

    By Steve Keating NEW YORK (Reuters) - Venus Williams earned a shot at a little family revenge by outlasting American compatriot Irina Falconi 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2 to set up an intriguing U.S. Open third round clash with Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic on … More »

    Reuters - 4 minutes 54 seconds ago
  • Serena show rolls on while Fish bows out

    Serena show rolls on while Fish bows out

    By Steve Keating NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Serena Williams show continued at the U.S. Open as the world number one moved a step closer to a calendar Grand Slam on Wednesday, while Mardy Fish took a final Flushing Meadows bow as the curtain came down … More »

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago
  • Tejada has inside-the-park HR, Mets win

    Tejada has inside-the-park HR, Mets win

    Matt Harvey felt dehydrated and Daniel Murphy had a sore quadriceps. Ruben Tejada hit an inside-the-park homer and drove in four runs to back Harvey as the Mets returned to their winning ways against the Philadelphia Phillies with a 9-4 victory. … More »

    AP - Sports - 11 minutes ago
  • Report: OSU's Jones treated for headache

    Report: OSU's Jones treated for headache

    Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones was taken to the hospital because of a headache, his mother told The Toledo Blade. Florence Jones told the newspaper her son was taken to an emergency room in Columbus, Ohio, and that he should be fine. Jones … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 minutes ago