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BOXING: Joe aims to restore gloss
MALMESBURY light-welterweight Joe Hughes is determined to prove a point when he steps back in the ring in Gloucester next month.
The Frank Maloney-backed 21-year-old will fight at the GL1 Centre on June 2, looking to bounce back from his first professional defeat at the hands of Joe Elfidh in March, when he faces the experienced Sid Razak.
Hughes, whose five pro fights so far have taken place in London, Essex, Sunderland, Doncaster and Sheffield, is hoping to garner his biggest local support to date just over 30 miles from his home town.
“I hope it isn’t but it might be the only time that I get to fight close to my home town so I’m hoping to get a big crowd there,” he said.
“Frank Maloney didn’t have a show that I could box on until the autumn so it’s a local show run by (Swindon promoter) Keith Mayo.’’ Hughes lost last time out despite knocking down Elfidh in the opening round and said: “I don’t know how I lost the fight and my trainer and manager felt the same.
“Even so it wasn’t my best performance and I wasn’t comfortable at the weight because it changed at the last minute. I also fell ill straight after the fight so maybe I was coming down with something and wasn’t 100 per cent.
“I was gutted to lose my undefeated record, especially like that, but I’m only looking forward now.”
“I’ve got a point to prove after what happened in the last fight.
“I’m two pounds off the weight at the moment and last time, I was two pounds off on the moment of the fight – I won’t be making that mistake again.
“Sid Razak is a tough, durable opponent but I’m well aware I’m expected to win.
“I want to try and show people what I’m really about and get my career going back in the right direction.”
Hughes still has hopes of a rematch with Elfidh, adding: “My manager Frank Maloney will sort out where I go from here but I want a rematch against Joe.
“I know that he’d be up for it because he’s an honest, genuine fighter but anything that happens will have to be down to my manager.”
“That’s the fight I am looking forward to next so I can set the record straight. After that maybe an English title or Southern Area title will be a possibility and then look to a British title.
“I’ve not been as active as I wanted to be since I turned pro two years ago, so now my aim is to stay busy.”