JOE Hughes has warned Tyrone Nurse to dismiss him at his peril as the Malmesbury boxer looks to grab his British title opportunity with both hands.
The 26-year-old faces Nurse for the British super lightweight title at the Leicester Arena on Saturday, an ambition of Hughes’ since he turned professional.
The fight will be live on BT Sport and BoxNation, with the Lord Lonsdale strap on the line and having dedicated blood sweat and tears to get to this point in his career, the former English title holder is not going to let the chance pass him by.
“Ever since I turned pro, and before that even, I always wanted to get a British title and it has taken a lot longer than I thought to get a shot at it but it’s nice to finally get a chance to prove myself at this level,” said Hughes, who has vacated the English title for the fight.
“This is massive to me. This is the biggest fight of my life so far and something I have been aiming at for a very long time.
“To fulfil that goal would be great for me. I would be very proud to be able to say I was British champion.
“If I did lose, it would be a long road back to get another shot at it so I really need to take this one.
“He is a very good champion to have to face and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”
Hughes faces Yorkshireman Nurse, who also has two losses to his name, but is vastly more experienced, with 34 wins compared to Hughes’ 15.
However, with Nurse’s camp describing Saturday’s bout as a comeback fight and seeing it as a necessary stepping stone towards eventual world title shots, Hughes is confident he can cause a shock.
“I know it’s a really hard fight but I am still confident I will win,” he added.
“He is 100 per cent confident he will win and I think they are overlooking me a little bit and I am happy with that.
“It doesn’t matter how you feel before you step in the ring, it’s when you’re in there, that’s when you’ve got to prove it.
“I’m happy for them to underestimate me. I think they think the fight is already won and I am there to spoil the party.”
Hughes is on a wind down week as he prepares mentally for the fight and admits that his training camp has not gone as smoothly as he would have liked, but that will not faze him.
“I have had a few hiccups and things like that with a few injuries but that is always going to happen,” he said.
“Every single fight I have had, something like that has cropped up so I am not too worried at this stage.
“On the whole, pretty positive and just looking forward to it now. All the training is done and it’s just a matter of getting in there and doing the business.”