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BOXING: Ring exile ends with Joe set for comeback
MALMESBURY fighter Joe Hughes is aiming to prove his injury woes are finally a thing of the past when he returns to the ring after almost a year out of action later this month.
The 23-year-old will step up to welterweight at the Trowbridge Civic Centre on September 27 when he takes on 26-year-old Lancashire man William Warburton (9-50-2), almost a year since his victory over Mark McKray in Swindon.
Hughes has been blighted by knee and wrist problems but is hoping those are behind him when he takes on dangerous journeyman Warburton.
“I couldn’t even punch properly because of my wrist but I’ve been working with a sports massage guy from Malmesbury called Steve Ford, who used to box himself,” said Hughes, who trains at Paddy John’s gym in Bristol.
“It’s been frustrating but I’m feeling fine now and just can’t wait to get back in there.
“It’ll be a week shy of being a year since my last fight and even though he’s a journeyman, it’s not going to be an easy fight.
“He knocked out (Gloucester’s) Chris Higgs (in November 2012), who was unbeaten before that fight.
“Hopefully it should be a good show though and it will be nice to box alongside some of the guys from the (Contender) gym in Trowbridge. I’ve done a lot of sparring with the likes of Nick Blackwell and Gareth Heard.”
In July, Hughes came close to hitting the big time as he was selected as a first reserve for Sky Sports’ light-welterweight Prizefighter series at London’s York Hall.
Although he didn’t get the chance to box, Hughes hopes he can continue to be in the mix for top-class opportunities.
He said: “I had to travel up there to the show but unfortunately, no-one pulled out. It’s organised by Matchroom, who are the guys doing all of the big boxing at the moment, so hopefully I’ve made some kind of contact there.”
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