Stephenson aiming to turn pro after winning title

Bedford boxer Michael Stephenson
Bedford boxer Michael Stephenson

Bedford-based boxer Michael Stephenson has set his sights on turning pro after he added the WKU English Cruiserweight title belt to his collection after stopping Toray Baday in the second round last weekend.

Stephenson’s power forced Baday’s corner to throw in the towel in the second round after the Brighton man took a standing eight, with the Bedford fighter now 5-0 in his amateur career and hopes to turn professional within the next 12 months.

While he didn’t get to go to the distance against Baday, Stephenson learned a great deal from Sunday’s fight at Bedford’s Corn Exchange, saying: “I got caught with a straight right in the second round which shook me..

“It’s the first decent punch I’ve taken competitively, and I had to compose myself momentarily before finishing the fight.

“It’s reassuring to know I can take one if I need to.”

Stephenson is fighting in May in Northampton before another Bedford date in June, ‘Last Man Standing’, back at the Corn Exchange.

Coach Sid Thompson added: “I hope to get him 10 to twelve fight over the next year before he turns pro.

“He’s already training like one, his work rate is phenomenal. We hope to get him down to about 75Kg.

“With Michael’s power at that weight he’ll be very destructive.”