REDDITCH boxer Nathan Stevens is determined to turn dreams into reality when he makes his professional debut in Birmingham later this month.
The Birmingham-born heavyweight will feature on the Second City Slickers bill at the city centre Holiday Inn on Saturday, July 22 and the 23-year-old cannot wait for the occasion.
“I turned professional late last year. I’ve had white collar fights but no amateur ones, but I’m ready for this,” said Stevens.
“I’ve not had things easy in my life and have worked very hard to reach this stage, so I’m determined to take my opportunity.
“I had my first fight on my 18th birthday, which I lost, but I don’t see that happening this time around.”
Stevens, who boxes out of Pat Benson Boxing Academy in Digbeth, has left no stone unturned in his bid for success – which was always going to be the case after what he admits was at times a difficult childhood.
“I spent two or three years in foster care as a young child and in later years I admit I ‘got in with the wrong crowd’ at times, although I have never had a criminal record.
“There were dark days but people have stood by me and I have always said it’s not about your past, it’s about the final destination.
“I have a little girl and am a family man now, so life is good outside the ring and I can give both boxing and my personal life the focus they deserve.
“For me in boxing terms at the moment, I see that as fighting for a Challenger Belt and then Area Title, but of course there’s plenty of work to be done and fights to be won before that.”
Stevens, aka Nate, is well known in the Redditch boxing fraternity having trained with middleweights Carl Dickens and Andrew Robinson, who is also on the City Slickers bill, and is keen to build a following of their ilk having turned from professional trainer to boxer.
Stevens, who has the motto of ‘nil desperandum’ – never despair – has put himself through a gruelling training regime in order to reach his goals.
He added: “I’ve been sparring week in, week out and my fitness is where I want it to be. I don’t have to make a weight, but I’m 15.3 stone and mobile, which is vital and I hope proves an advantage.
“I’m putting the graft in. You can’t hide in this game. If you’re unprepared you will come unstuck, so I have done everything in my power to be ready.
“I have been sparring with Sean Davis, a former WBC Silver and English super bantamweight champion, and working on my strength and conditioning with bodybuilder Dean Lesiak, who has helped me massively both physically and mentally.
“I have a good manager, Greg Steene, who used to manage Johnny Nelson and has some great links with the likes of Anthony Joshua, Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte.
“Therefore, I am hopeful doors can open for me as my career progresses if I can get the right results.”
Stevens, who welcomes new sponsors and is already backed by Haus of Wax (Solihull) and Sporting Barbers, did not know his opponent for the fight at the Smallbrook Queensway venue as the Standard went to press.
Table tickets (tables of ten) cost £65 per person to include a two-course meal and standard unreserved tickets are £35 per person. The event is expected to feature about ten fights, with doors opening at 6.30pm and the first bell at 7.30pm. Call 07903 760970 or 07964 984445 for tickets.