It has taken Steed Woodall 10 years to become an overnight sensation but after stunning the previously unbeaten Lerrone Richards on Friday night, the super middleweight is determined that the remainder of his career will occur on center stage. 

Woodall, 19-2-1 (12 KOs), turned professional in America in 2014 and spent three years competing across the Atlantic. He has been waiting for the chance to properly announce himself to British fight fans since ending a four year break from the sport and restarting his career back home in Birmingham in 2021.

His first major opportunity passed him by when he was outpointed by Padraig McCrory in Belfast last August but he snatched his second chance with both hands, stopping the talented Richards - whose ability to appear untouchable is unfairly but largely responsible for his lack of popularity - with a devastating pair of right hands in the sixth round. 

“It’s been a long time coming for me. I could have done this years ago, I promise you. And to a lot of the other guys as well,” Woodall said.

“I owe so much to my trainer, Paul Counihan, and my manager, John Pegg. There have been so many ups and downs. Especially over the past 12 months, I don’t know how I’ve been in the gym. I’ve made it work. I’ve worked full time up till this week. It’s not a world title but - to me - it feels like a world title. That’s the second best moment of my life. The first was the birth of my daughter.”

Woodall and Richards were initially due to fight in April but injury forced the 30-year-old to withdraw during fight week. Whereas Richards’ name has been poison to the majority of well known super middleweights, Woodall knew that beating the former British, European and IBO champion represented his best way of gatecrashing the higher reaches of the 168lb division. He kept his focus, accepted the fight when it was offered again and took his chance.

He is now intent on making up for lost time. Woodall has suddenly become a very interesting component in Britain’s super middleweight picture and has designs on the weight classes top operators.

“He [Counihan] knows exactly what I can do. He knew it for years,” he said. “Ive been sparring world champions for years and Ive been hurting all of them. Its no fluke. I was crying because of what Ive been through. I wasnt crying because of the victory. No disrespect to Lerrone. What a champion. Hes won every belt there is and he didnt have to fight me. Im 100 or so below him in the world rankings. That puts me in the top 15 now.

“I want everyone now. I’m the man with the title. Nobody can say no to me now. Everybody’s said no the past few years. I’ve accepted fights. This one was three weeks’ notice. Let’s go."