Rossington's Maxi Hughes reveals American dream ahead of world title clash

‘Cinderella Man’ Maxi Hughes says his IBO world title shot against Jovanni Straffon is his ticket to America.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 4:06 pm
Maxi Hughes, right, on his way to victory against Paul Hyland Jnr in their British title fight. Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The Rossington fighter can complete his own remarkable rags to riches tale by beating the Mexican at Headingley Stadium.

But Hughes, 31, has no intention of stopping there – and hopes victory on Saturday night could set up a lucrative stateside clash against WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney.

"I couldn't have pictured this 18 months ago,” Hughes, the reigning British and WBC International champion, told Behind The Gloves.

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“Just over a year ago I was brought in as an opponent to keep Jono Carroll busy.

“A year later I'm two titles up, it’s a Cinderella Man story and now I'm fighting for a world title. How much better can it get?

“This is my ticket to America. I'm coming to America.

“I'd like to fight Devin Haney. By winning the WBC International I'm ranked by them so winning the IBO would hopefully improve my ranking and get me into the top ten, maybe top eight.

“I'm hearing that everyone is avoiding Devin Haney,” he added.

"I won't avoid him. I'll go and fight him in his back garden. I'm more than happy to do that.

"He's obviously good, he's got to where he's got, but he's no world beater. I'd be more than happy to take that fight.”

Hughes, who came close to quitting boxing following defeat to Sam Bowen in 2018, has taken six weeks off from his painting and decorating job to focus fully on this weekend’s fight.

Straffon (24-3, 17 KOs) captured the vacant IBO belt in May with a shock first round knockout win against highly-rated James Tennyson.

“I know James, I've shared many rounds with him, and I don't think that was him at one hundred per cent,” said Hughes.

“That doesn't take anything away from Straffon. What you see is what you get from him. You just have to look at his record and Mexicans are known for being tough.

“He's a puncher so we're not going to gamble with that. We've done our homework and we've prepared well.

“As we do with every fight, we'll have an idea of what we're going to do but we'll take it round by round and make the adjustments when we need to adjust.”