SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT prospect Arlo Stephens has expressed his confidence at being able to add another belt to his collection next weekend.

Stephens currently holds the Yorkshire Challenge belt and, beginning on Friday, the York St Johns Masters student will be aiming claim the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) title as well.

Originally hailing from South London, the 23-year-old moved to York to study Sports Science four years ago before progressing to a Masters in Occupational Therapy.

Prior to his move up north, Stephens had never stepped foot in a boxing gym, with basketball his sport of choice, having been offered scholarships by American clubs during his youth.

That was until 2018 when he met trainer Billy Wilson of the York Boxing Club, with the pair quickly becoming a successful combination.

“The relationship between me and Billy developed quite naturally," says Stephens.

“He’s taught me everything that I know in boxing and I never had anyone give up as much of their own time to me as Billy has for no (financial) reward.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more from him and he’s always there for me.

“And my career is only at the point it is now because of Billy.

“I owe boxing to him."

While evidently intelligent in regards to academia, Stephens also thinks he possesses high ring IQ as well.

“I think one of the reasons for how I’ve progressed is that I work harder than everyone but naturally I’m quite intelligent when it comes to fighting," he says.

“I can just watch somebody do something and then if I practise it for a couple of days, I can then do it.

“I think that’s quite a good ability that I have.

“Although I’ve been taught everything by Billy, I’m able to pick things up quite quickly from practising myself straight away.

“If we’re drilling something on a Monday, I’ll take into sparring on a Tuesday and then I’ll use it in a fight on Friday.

“But, I still feel like I’m learning every and with every session.

“I’ve only been boxing for two years, so I’m not going to know it all and I don’t think that I know it all either.

“But, where I’m at now, I think I can say happily enough that I’d take on anybody in the country as an amateur."

Stephens' most immediate goal is to become BUCS champion, with the Wolverhampton-based event kicking off on Friday and finishing on Sunday.

“I wouldn’t fight if I wasn’t confident of winning," he says of his chances.

“I know that anybody can lose any fight. But, I’m happy with where I am and my own ability.

“I’m just going to turn up and hopefully win all of my fights and the whole contest."

In the long-term, the ambition for Stephens is to turn professional once his finishes his academic studies and to join a growing roster of professional fighters from York.

“In my head I’ll go professional in two years," envisages Stephens. "I’d like to finish my degree and then finish that boxing season.

“Even though I’m not young, I’m not in a rush. I’m not especially old as well in the heavyweight game.

“I’ve put on about 6 kilos in just man weight since last year. I’m a better fighter for that. I think that ageing process will make me a better fighter."