An amateur boxer from South Tyneside is making a name for himself in the professional ranks in America.
Steven Hall has won his first belt since making a comeback in the ring.
Steven first began boxing under the guidance of Martin Devlin at the Bilton Hall Club, in Jarrow, as a teenager and moved to San Antonio, in America in 2004 after deciding he wanted to work abroad.
He continued to train in the sport he loved and at the age of 29 he decided to turn professional.
However, after a series of injuries he retired from the ring after 12 fights and a record of seven wins and five defeats.
The former Boldon Comprehensive School pupil, who used to work for Ford Aerospace as a CNC machinist, said: “I had many injuries and had made a few bad decisions which resulted in me deciding to call it a day.
The fight was a warSteven Hall
“I retired after 12 professional fights. It was also around the time my second child was born so it was an easy decision to make at the time.
“But I missed the sport and I knew I could still win a belt so, a year later, I made the decision to come back.
“Two fights later I was lucky to be given the chance to fight for the Texas state junior welterweight title.”
Dad-of-two Mr Hall, from Biddick Hall, South Shields, was matched with undefeated fighter Armando Cardenas at the San Antonio Event Center.
The fight had been scheduled for eight rounds with 25-year-old Cardenas favourite to win.
But the fight, which received rave reviews from fans and was dubbed a “local classic” by sports journalists, lasted only five rounds after Steven knocked Cardenas out at the 42-second mark.
Cardenas had been ahead on all three scorecards when the fight, which saw them trade knockdowns, ended.
Steven, 36, added: “The fight was a war. I was knocked down twice and ended up knocking him down four times with the fourth one being the final one that ko’d him. It was a great feeling to lift the belt.”
Brother David and sister Margaret, who live in South Shields, say they are proud of Steven’s achievements.
David added: “We both couldn’t be more proud of what Steven has achieved since moving to America and long may it continue.”