Boxing: Hughes set for British title eliminator

Maxi Hughes
Maxi Hughes
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He has served his apprenticeship and Maxi Hughes is heading to Belfast to prove he is a master.

The Rossington fighter is scheduled to contest an eliminator for the British super featherweight title against Irishman James Fryers on February 6.

After marking himself out as one to watch over the last 18 months, Hughes is determined to compete among the elite of the domestic division from now on.

“Every fighter has to serve his apprenticeship and I think I’ve served mine now,” Hughes told the Free Press.

“I’ve gone through all the learning fights and when I have stepped up, I think I’ve proved myself.

“I did well against Scott Cardle [current British lightweight champion] and I thought I won my first fight with Martin Ward.

“I’m ready to be in good, competitive fights all the time now.

“Hopefully I’ll get four or five of them this year but this next one is a good one to start with.”

Opponent Fryers has won all 11 of his fights so far but Hughes is not particularly impressed by the calibre of the opponents the 23-year-old has faced.

And the Doncaster fighter believes Fryers’ style will play right into his hands.

Hughes said: “He’s got a decent record but I don’t really think he’s fought anyone at my level so far so it’s going to be as big a test for him as it is me.

“He’s a tall kid but from what I’ve seen he doesn’t really use it to his advantage.

“He comes forward and stoops in. If he does that against me then I think it’ll play into my hands because I’m a slick counterpuncher.

“We’ll see how it goes.

“I’m confident of going over there and getting the job done.”

Hughes has fought just twice in the last nine months but is aiming to be much more active in 2016 after switching managers.

He said: “I broke my nose against Martin Ward last April so I needed a bit of time to recover from that.

“But things weren’t really happening for me. The phone wasn’t ringing.

“I came to the end of my managerial contract with Dave Coldwell and I thought it was time to look elsewhere.

“I’ve done a lot of training with Josh Warrington who is managed by Steve Wood so I gave Steve a call.

“We had a good chat and it’s all worked out.

“He got me on a show of his in Buxton late on last year, just to shake a bit of the rust off but we’re looking to have a good go at it this year.

“I’m confident things will start to happen. He pushed for this next fight to be an eliminator and he got that so it’s a great start.”

Hughes insists he had no qualms about travelling to fight in the away corner and says he is excited for the opportunity.

He said: “It’s the first time I will have flown for a fight so that’s something ticked off.

“I do like it in the away corner. The pressure is off and you can get on with the fight in your own way.

“I’ll have a decent following with me so they’ll make plenty of noise I’m sure.

“I’m really looking forward to this one.”