Michael Stephenson feels ready for all eventualities when he attempts to claim the Midlands super middleweight title.
His opportunity will come when BCB Promotions return to the Hangar Events Venue, in Wolverhampton, for fight night on Friday March 10. The show will be broadcast live on Fightzone with this Area Title clash also being shown on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport App & Website. Find out more at fightzone.uk.
Stephenson will lock horns with home fighter Andy Owen for a strap last contested in 2019, when Jamal Le Doux stopped Corey Jackson in the sixth round.
Andrew Robinson beat ‘Prince’ David Davis for the same title, in Wolverhampton, four years previously before also vacating.
Now area honours are on the line again with Stephenson, who was born in Bedford, but now lives in Northampton, determined to claim the title.
The 29-year-old goes for glory in his ninth pro contest, having registered seven wins and just one defeat, over a five-year pro career.
Stephenson joined the pro ranks with next to no amateur experience, after just one amateur bout and seven unlicensed affairs before turning over.
He debuted with a four-round points shut-out over Darryl Sharp, one of four 40-36 scorelines on his ledger, along with victories over Casey Blair, Tsvetozar Iliev and Genadij Krajevskij.
Beating Krajevskij was his last ring action, in November, following on from his first six-round success, overcoming Lewis van Poetsch, through a 59-55 points verdict.
Stephenson, who has also seen off Gianni Antoh and Pavol Garaj by virtue of a 40-37 tally, has only lost once, by a point to Danny Shannon.
He’s trained by James Conway, at the Team Shoe Box gym in Northampton, with a ring date in September falling by the wayside, after the show was called off at late notice.
Stephenson said: “I thought this might be on a show in Northampton, but it got switched. I don’t mind, I’ve been to the Hangar (to watch stable-mate Sam Daly box) and it’s great.
“I’m after the English title, that’s the one that I really want and I think that Zak Chelli (champion) might vacate. There’s a few lads in the mix, so this might be an eliminator!
“My last fight was frustrating, in that it was supposed to be an eight-rounder and the opponent pulled out. No one else was available, for any more than four rounds.
“I’d had a double training camp, because my first date was postponed, and I was ready to go twice that distance. I nearly knocked him out, when I put the pressure on. It was so close.
“I’ve done a six-rounder, which was a good learning experience, and I’m not afraid to test myself for titles. I’ve not had that feeling yet, having had no amateur experience.
“We were offered Willie Hutchinson (15-1 pro), for the WBO Inter-Continental title, on a TV show in January, but the contract wasn’t up to scratch.
“Still, my name getting mentioned is a good thing, but I want to go the traditional route first and become the Midlands champion. This is my first moment in the spotlight.
“I know Andy (Owen) is a fit lad, who will come forward, but I’ve been fighting taller guys all through my pro career and I’ve beaten all but one of them.
“My style is to get on the inside and throw lots of punches, but I can box as well. I’ll outbox him, if I have to, and I’ll beat him up, if that’s what it takes!”
Tickets for the Hangar bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.