Andy Owen reckons it will be survival of the fittest when he challenges for the Midlands super middleweight title.
His battle for the belt comes 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.
Owen, who grew up in New Invention but now lives in Perton, co-challenges for the vacant crown with Michael Stephenson, who makes the trip from Northampton.
The two both have favourable pro records, with Owen’s 4-1 ledger bettered, in experience, by Stephenson’s 7-1 efforts, although the latter has no TKOs.
A sole stoppage from Owen came on his 2021 debut, where he forced the retirement of Ryan Hibbert, after two rounds, after his opponent had been dropped and bloodied.
But it was Owen who was defeated in his second pro outing, again in the second, after he was stunned through body shots, by Norbert Szekeres, for the stoppage.
The 35-year-old bounced back with a pair of points wins over Kearon Thomas, both by a 40-36 points landslide score-line, which completed his four-round apprenticeship.
He last competed in November, stepping up to six rounds to take on Julian Lilyanov, rolling over the Bulgarian through another points whitewash, a 60-54 verdict.
That also took him to 10 bouts of boxing experience, taking into account six amateur affairs for Wolverhampton Boxing Club, which resulted in five wins.
Owen started out in combat sports as a kickboxer, before playing football in the academy at Worcester City FC as a teenager. He didn’t take up boxing until he was 24.
Outside of his sporting activities, the married father-of-two is employed by the NHS, as an associate practitioner, in the MicroBiology department, at New Cross Hospital.
He said: “I had an inkling that it (the title shot) was going to happen, even going into my last fight. I’ve stayed in the gym ever since, at first ticking over and then into my training camp.
“I hadn’t boxed since the previous February, so that was nearly nine months out of the ring. I was a bit rusty, in the first round, but I thought I did well after that.
“My opponent was tough, but he was on his bike a lot, which made it really awkward. As soon as I let my shots go, he slowed and I started to break him down.
“I cut the ring off a lot more, as it went on, and I nearly got him out of there in the last round. He did well to get through it. I was happy with my performance.
“I felt comfortable doing the rounds and I think the longer distances suit me more. I’ll come into my own, when fitness tells. Since day one, my coach (Richie Carter) has told me that.
“He’s a live opponent (Michael Stephenson), with a decent record. I know that he’s short and stocky. I’m a tall super middleweight, at 6ft 2in, so we will see how it goes.
“I believe in my fitness and I’m not worried about proving it over 10 rounds. The goal is to go out and win every round. If I can do that, there’s no stopping me.”
Tickets for the Hangar bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.