JOE Hughes says that he wants to lift the European super-lightweight title in honour of his former Malmesbury ABC coach Tony Stannard.

The 27-year-old tackles reigning champion Anthony Yigit at the Leicester Arena on Saturday night in what he describes as his ‘biggest’ challenge to date.

And Hughes, who was left frustrated by a majority decision draw in April when attempting to dethrone then British champion Tyrone Nurse in his last fight, says that should he be victorious against the Swede, he will dedicate his win to his former trainer who passed away in July.

“That would be huge (to win the European title),” Hughes told the Gazette and Herald.

“It will be the biggest achievement of my career, it would be a massive thing.

“If I never won another fight after that I could retire happy after winning such a big title.

“It would be nice to win it after my old trainer, Tony Stannard, passed away and it would be nice to win and dedicate it to him – that is an extra motivation for it.”

Hughes, who will have his fight televised live on Channel Five, admits that he will once again step into the ring as the underdog.

Yigit won the vacant title in February this year when outpointing south Londoner Lenny Daws before returning to Sweden to successfully defend the belt against Spain’s Sandor Martin in September.

The 26-year-old champion will walk into the ring on Saturday night with an undefeated record and ranked in the top 15 in the world by all the major governing bodies.

However, Hughes, who has lost twice in his 18-fight career, is confident that he will be victorious is Leicester.

“A lot of people are writing me off again – I have got used to that,” Hughes said.

“My last few fights have been like that and that almost takes the pressure away.

“You go in there do what you do, give it your best shot and I’m confident that I’ll win.

“He (Yigit) is very good, he is a very good boxer.

“He is a skilful lad and does a few things in a bit of an unorthodox style, which will probably make it a little bit awkward, but I am confident.

“I know that it will be a tough test, but what do you expect? He is the defending European champion, so it was never going to be an easy fight.”