'Enough is enough': U.K. boxer Curtis Woodhouse turns tables on Twitter 'troll'
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2013 10:22AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 13, 2013 12:51PM EDT
After receiving months of abuse from an Internet "troll" on Twitter, British boxer Curtis Woodhouse said "enough is enough" on Monday and decided to track the man down.
Woodhouse had lost his English light-welterweight title in a match on Friday night against Shane Singleton, and was already in a foul mood when he logged into Twitter on Monday. When he found his account populated with abuse from Twitter user @Jimmyob88, he decided to finally strike back.
The former footballer posted a message offering the equivalent of a $1,500 "bounty" to anyone who could identify the man and reveal his home address.
Five minutes later he had the information he needed, and jumped in his car to track him down.
"Obviously after losing my title the way I did Friday night I wasn't in the best of moods Monday morning, so when I put my Twitter account on to find more abuse from this troll I thought alright, enough is enough and I got in the car," Woodhouse told Canada AM.
Woodhouse drove more than 100 kilometres to Sheffield, England to confront the man he said had sent him death threats, called him a failure and a disgrace and even poked fun at his father's death in recent months.
"At first I think he thought I was joking and carried on sending me abusive messages," Woodhouse said. "But when I got to the top of his road I took a photograph of the road sign and all of a sudden he realized wow, he's actually here. He started backpedalling, saying he's sorry, pretty much crying over Twitter."
The man, who also goes by the name "The Master" on Twitter, tweeted that it was all just "a bit of harmless fun," then apologized after Woodhouse threatened to knock on every door on the street until he found the right house.
“I am sorry it's getting a bit out of hand. I am in the wrong. I accept that,” @jimmyob88 tweeted, though all recent posts appear to have now been removed from his feed.
After the man apologized, Woodhouse got back in his car and drove home. He said he wanted to make the point that anonymous Internet bullying can deeply affect its victims.
"Whether an apology is enough, I'm not sure, but the bottom line is I want this young man to realize if you say things sometimes you've got to be accountable for them, so that's why I tracked him down."
The British boxer has received accolades from former British deputy prime minister John Prescott, English footballer Joey Barton and former British undisputed world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, who had reportedly been targeted by the same Twitter user.
Lewis holds both British and Canadian citizenship and won a gold medal for Canada in the 1988 Olympic Games.