Stourbridge boxer, Steven Pearce, admits a new found love both inside and outside of the ring inspired him to lace his gloves back up and dedicate himself to the sport once again.
After a difficult 2014, the former Midlands Area Welterweight Champion seriously considered turning his back on the sport. Illness and ankle ligament damage didn’t help his cause as he suffered back to back losses against Ryan Hardy for the British Masters Title and English and WBA Inter-Continental Champion Bradley Skeete.
It lead to some dark days for Pearce.
“I had some bad luck last year,” he told www.uko-boxing.com. “I struggled with illness before the Hardy fight and then I took on Bradley Skeete who is a class operator.
“I thought I matched Skeete early doors but then he caught with a great shot that I didn’t see coming. That’s boxing.
“I was gutted the way it ended and then I suffered ankle ligament damage when preparing for a fight later on in the year. After that, I sort of turned my back on the sport. Towards the end of 2014 I was living a bad life – partying, drinking, women, you name it. Mentally I wasn’t ready to fight at a professional level.”
Then the likeable 30 year-old met his new partner, Geana Sweeney, and he credits her with an upturn in fortunes and a new outlook both in and out the ring. Pearce was soon back in the boxing gym and now, fully focussed, is ready to push on in 2015.
“I’m really looking forward to fighting again,” he added. “I’m ready to get my career back on track. I have routine in my life and Geana, my family and friends, are all really understanding. Geana is studying sports and nutrition, so has also helped me with my diet and lifestyle.
“I feel like everyone is behind me. I’m back in love with the sport. Boxing can be a lonely sport so you need to surround yourself with the right people. They have helped me refocus and I’m determined to win another title – at welterweight or light middleweight – this year.”
Pearce’s first outing of the year takes place in Cannock on Saturday, 28th February. The Errol Johnson-managed fighter takes on tough Latvian, Eduards Krauklis over four three-minute rounds.
“He’s a tough lad,” Pearce added. “He’s never been stopped so it’s a good test of my power if I can get him out of there. I need this fight to bridge the gap and then it’s onwards and upwards.”
Stafford’s undefeated fighter, Grant Cunningham, tops the bill as he steps down a weight to take on Damon Jones in an English Middleweight Title Eliminator.
Walsall’s Luke Paddock is also in action as he makes a maiden defence of his Midlands Area Light Welterweight Title against Newark’s Fergus Taylor whilst Stafford’s Rob Hunt also goes in search of title honours when he competes for a British Bronze Masters Welterweight Title against Exeter’s Faheem Khan.
Birmingham super featherweight prospect, Sean ‘Showtime’ Davis, steps in with Maidenhead’s Jack ‘Crackerjack’ Heath whilst Leeds welterweight, Stevi Mennell, takes on Halesowen-based Kevin McAuley.
Completing the bill is Stoke light welterweight, Josh McLaren, who takes on Atherton’s William Warburton and Birmingham’s Waqas Mohammed who debuts against Reading’s Ibrar Riyaz.
The show takes place at Chase Leisure Centre, Stafford Road, Cannock, Staffordshire, WS11 4AL.
Tickets, priced at £30 and £60 Ringside, are available by calling 01543 504065