2002 UWMTA Midwest Lightweight muay Thai Championship (draw). Fought for 2003 WKA North American Lightweight muay Thai Championship. Member of the WKA Team USA 2003-2005. Ranked #1 by the IKF Featherweight amateur muay Thai (2004-2005). Ranked #2 by the IKF Lightweight amateur muay Thai (2003).
Notable opponents: Graeme Ness (Scotland), Darren Robson (Canada), Songkreat (Thailand), Saruul-Od (Mongolia), Tomas Dupuy (France), Jose Villarisco (USA).
Stephen began his training under Kru Sitha “Ood” Phongphibool in Pittsburgh at the US Muay Thai Academy. Originally intending to simply regain fitness, he was inspired at an amateur fight promotion to train hard and try fighting. After 6 months of total training, he entered the ring for the first time, KOing his larger and more experienced opponent – and realized a true love and passion for this sport. He fought 3 more times in the year he trained under Kru Ood, before having to take a year off to finish a fellowship out-of-state.
With Kru Ood’s return to Thailand, the senior fighter from the US Muay Thai Academy, Rigel Balsamico, organized several fighters and former the Cool Hearts MuayT hai club. Stephen was there training on day one, and fighting 1 month later. He fought routinely under the Cool Hearts banner for 2 years. When Rigel moved to New Jersey to start a new camp, Stephen was given the task of running the club and taking on the role as trainer.