Michael Stephenson wants to become the pride of the Midlands after becoming eligible to box for the area’s super middleweight title.
First comes another outing when BCB Promotions stage their next show at the Park Inn Hotel, in Northampton town centre (Silver Street), when fight night arrives on Friday September 9.
Stephenson was born and raised in Bedford, but now qualifies as Northampton-based after effectively moving there to train out of the town’s Team Shoe Box gym.
English champion Zak Chelli is expected to move up and relinquish the belt, meaning area title holders might well be propelled onto the national stage.
William Webber and Max Lovell are set to contest the Southern area strap, with Stephenson setting his sights on the Midlands alternative, after another run-out.
The 29-year-old missed a July date, due to injury, and undertakes a scheduled eight rounds, for the first time, as the last step before going for honours.
He last stepped through the ropes for competitive combat in May, outpointing Lewis van Poetsch in his maiden six-rounder, through a 59-55 scoreline.
That improved his pro record to six wins and one defeat, all over-the-distance, the sole blip coming against Danny Shannon in 2018.
Stephenson is moving fast despite being relatively short on experience, with just one amateur bout and seven unlicensed affairs before turning pro.
He said: “If I can get active and keep on winning, there are some big fights out there for me and I might even get a title shot by the end of the year.
“I’m pretty much living in Northampton now, what with the time at the gym, so I’m now eligible to box for the Midlands title. It’s vacant and we’ve looked at opponents.
“I’m just waiting to get going again, I’ve already done a six-rounder and this will be another step up for me. I’m 29, but I feel like I’ve got the body of a 21-year-old.
“I didn’t really get out of first gear, over six rounds, and I felt like I controlled the whole fight. My opponent (Lewis van Poetsch) was stronger than I thought, but he didn’t want to engage.
“He had a go, in the first round, but I caught him with an uppercut and I kept on changing the angles that I was throwing my punches from. I was pleased with the performance.
“I’m not playing around, I want to take opportunities when they come and I’ll be ready when that happens. I believe that I can compete at a high level. I’ve only ever lost once, ever.
“Hopefully, I’ll get this one out of the way and I could do with a knockout. That is the sort of statement that would be good to make.”
Tickets for the Park Inn bill are available, priced at £40 for unreserved seating or £75 VIP ringside with buffet, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.