JOE Hughes is convinced he will re-emerge from his European super-lightweight title defeat to Sweden’s Anthony Yigit as an improved fighter despite being handed his third professional defeat last Saturday night.

The Malmesbury fighter, 27, came out on the wrong end of a 118-112, 118-110, 119-109 verdict at Leicester Arena after a bruising battle against the undefeated champion Yigit.

Despite an encouraging start against a classy opponent, Hughes conceded he got drawn into the sort of contest he was trying to avoid as he fell behind on the judges’ scorecards.

But the Wiltshire man, now based in Bristol, reckons he can take plenty away from what was a significant step up to fight Yigit, who is now being aimed at possible world title shots.

“Obviously I’m very disappointed with the result,’’ Hughes told the Gazette & Herald.

“I don’t think I performed to my best but he was a very good champion and he had the right gameplan going into the fight and he executed it well on the night, so fair play to him.

“I thought I did well in the first half of the fight and thought I’d won the first few rounds and then I just got involved too much in a fight, which I have done in the past as well, trying to just plough forward and forgetting my boxing skills.

“Early on, I think I was out-boxing him and that’s what my trainer wanted me to do, box and use my skills.

“Sometimes I neglect that and I think I did a bit in this fight.

“He made the most of that by throwing a lot of shots. Even though a lot of them landed on my gloves, a lot of them got through as well because of the sheer number he threw.

“I sort of let him do it by standing there and trying to walk through it to land my own, rather than boxing.

“One round, I think it was the 10th, I went back to it and tried to box a bit more and it was successful, then in the 11th and 12th I went back to fighting again.

“It’s a bit frustrating after the fact, but hindsight is 20-20. He did what he had he had to do in there and congratulations to him.

“He’s a good champion and I think they are looking at pushing him on to a world title now.’’

While the result is an unwanted blemish on his career record, Hughes is focusing on the positives after a decent year in which he also drew with British champion Tyrone Nurse while challenging for the Lonsdale belt.

“I think there are definitely things I can take away from it (the Yigit fight), so hopefully going into my next fight should be good,’’ he added.

“I gave it my best shot on the night and that’s all you can do, but hopefully next time I will be better again.’’