MALMESBURY’S Joe Hughes says he was left bewildered after his opponent Rueben Rodriguez refused to come out of his corner for the final two rounds of their bout last Friday.

The Spaniard was due to take on Hughes in an eight-round contest only to claim the fight was actually scheduled for six at the University of the West of England.

Hughes was awarded the win via retirement, after decline to meet the demands of Rodriguez, who wanted a further £2,000 to fight for another six minutes.

The 27-year-old says he had never seen anything like it, in what was a routine performance for the super-lightweight.

“Friday was pretty comfortable in the end,” said Hughes. “It was a bit of a bizarre ending on the night, because after six rounds they just stopped.”

“They were saying it was only supposed to be six rounds, but it was always and eight-rounder and they wanted more money to do the other two rounds.

“Then they said all this stuff and the board said to them if they carried on, then they would pull themselves out of the fight and that is what happened.

“I don’t know what it was but I think he’d had enough. I had won every round comfortably and I’d started to break him down, I think it was a ploy to save face or get more money.

“Up until then it was a good fight, I was well in control but he was dangerous, he could definitely punch.

“He never caught me clean with anything but I could feel from punches which landed on the gloves and things, I didn’t want to get caught with one of those on the chin.”

With the fight out of the way at relative ease, Hughes says he will now take a week off to recover from the training before the search begins for his next opponent.

The Malmesbury man says his management team have been in contact with promoter Frank Warren with regards to a fight in the spring.

Hughes remains indifferent to who he comes up against, but admits he does need to step it up a level for his next bout.

“I prepared for eight rounds and I’m a bit disappointed really because I could have got him out of there with a proper knockout or stoppage,” he added.

“Hopefully that fight will have kept me sharp and now I want a big fight in the spring, that is what I would like.

“I’ll have the one week off and get straight back into it. I expect it to be a domestic-level fight and we will see what we can do.

“I’ll take the highest-ranked fight I can get, I want to fight for the British title again so whether it is an eliminator for that or a shot at it, I’ve got my fingers crossed.”