After 10 months procrastinating on the sidelines, heavy hitting Liverpool light-welter Steven Lewis makes a welcome return to duty on the mammoth ‘Homecoming’ bill at The Echo Arena next weekend, writes Glynn Evans.
The seriously dangerous 22 year old from West Derby advances to eight round level when he confronts Aberdeen based iron man Marek Laskowski, a Polish native who has lost just five of 13 and is yet to be stopped as a pro.
‘It’ll be great to get back in there,’ says the former Junior ABA and CYP champ who recently penned a management deal with the MGM group in Marbella.
‘While I’ve been changing over managers it’s been very frustrating watching all the lads in the (Everton Red Triangle) gym doing so well while I’ve been waiting, pulling me hair out.
‘I was in camp all over Christmas and pencilled in for the Terry v Derry (Flanagan-Mathews) bill in March but injured me knee which kept me out longer. Then I was considered for the Jack Catterall bill in Bolton but just needed a few weeks longer.
‘I’m very lucky to have excellent sponsors in JK Rail which has allowed me to train over at the MGM gym in Spain. You couldn’t be with a better set of lads than over there. I’ve been really looked after and they promise they’re gonna keep me busy. It’ll be good to get back out.’
Quiet and humble beyond the ropes, the Everton season ticket holder has been causing quite a commotion between them, winning ten straight since debuting as a pro in October 2012 and wasting his last three opponents in just five rounds combined. Several industry experts are already viewing him as the future force in Britain’s stagnating 140lb division.
Despite his hiatus, the 5ft 9in strongman promises to be as good as he’s ever been when he climbs up the steps on Saturday week.
The man who trains alongside major belt holders such as Kevin Satchell, Ryan Farrag and Jazza Dickens says: ‘Though I’ve not fought for 10 months, I’ve constantly been in the gym learning with Paul and Mick (Stevenson, the brothers who coach him) and watching DVDs of the likes of Golovkin or ‘Canelo’. I’m learning to alternate between cutting the ring down or going back foot. I’ve got every area covered.
‘I’ve had quality sparring with a good light-middle over in Spain plus (reigning British champ) Tyrone Nurse, a lovely fella. There was no atmosphere. By the time I get among the titles, I expect he’ll have moved to another level.
‘This year I want more fights, more stoppages and hopefully a title. There’s a few lads who I fought in the amateurs who are coming through like Sam McNess. I’m a bit head of them at the moment but they could build into good rivalries.
‘All my gym mates take the piss cos they’ve got titles. It brings me on to be fair and I’m made up for them but it does make me more hungry.
‘I’m already 10-0 so I don’t think I’m too far off. If offered, I’d take a British or Commonwealth title fight tomorrow. That’s the level of fight I’m training for.’
And he intends taking a giant leap to securing those goals by glistening before his fellow Merseysiders this weekend.
He concludes: ‘While I always train to outpoint my opponent over however many rounds we’re matched for, I always want stoppages and knockouts and Saturday will be no different.
I intend making a statement to all the others coming through in my division.’
Coach Paul Stevenson, who has schooled Lewis throughout his entire pro career, adds: ‘Steven’s only young but he’s already very strong and is yet to develop his full ‘man strength’. That’ll come over the next two or three years and then he’ll be truly formidable.
‘We tease Steven that the only belt he holds is the one he bought from ‘Next’ but he’s a good part of our team. When he’s hitting the bag, he only needs to look to his left or right for inspiration. There’s champions everywhere. We’re confident that we’ll have him up at title level late this year or early next. He’s going to do good things.
‘During his absence from the ring we’ve still been working on all aspects in the gym; developing his strength, teaching him how to control opponents to deliver his big shots and put even more spite into them, how to cope with different situations. His boxing from the outside is very underrated and he’s huge for the weight.
‘From a trainer’s stance, I’d like Steven to get some good rounds under his belt after his lay-off and get out again pretty soon after. The lads at MGM have promised they’ll keep him busy.
‘But, in order to build a following, I know he’ll be looking for a kayo. Ideally, he’ll score a knockout in the last minute of the eighth round!’
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