Alex ‘Good News’ Hughes back with confident shut-out of Harry Matthews

Alex ‘Good News’ Hughes back with confident shut-out of Harry Matthews

It was good news for Maerdy’s unbeaten super-middleweight Alex ‘Bad News’ Hughes (9-0, 3KO) as he rediscovered his confidence and cruised to a comfortable points victory over Yorkshire’s game Harry Matthews (14-21-2, 2KO).

The 22-year-old banked another eight rounds and conclusively claimed referee Reece Carter’s 80-73 scorecard on Frank Warren’s show at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena.

Matthews has tested many prospects and isn’t a stranger to causing an upset. Hughes was well aware of the threat as Matthews had dropped fellow Welshman Tom Doran and faced his stablemate Nick Blackwell.

Many on the fight scene in Wales have sung Hughes’ praises for a long time and his start justified the hype as he opened the BoxNation broadcast. Edging forward on the front foot, Hughes whipped the jab up from his waist to set the tone of the fight.

It was enough to put Matthews in reverse and he rarely looked able to sustain an attack. When he did lunge forward, Hughes was wise to it, often countering with a left hook before turning away to reset and stop Matthews’ ambition.

Up close, Hughes would squeeze his defence as Matthews flurried and respond with short shots, mainly the uppercut. It would return the away fighter on the back foot, where Hughes was given space to select his shots.

By the fourth session, Hughes was confident enough to lead off with more solid shots, especially a right cross which found the target with increasing frequency. Matthews was understandably more tentative, though quick to clip Hughes when the referee called break on a few occasions.

Encouraged to put his shots together by ringsiders, including former world champion Enzo Maccarinelli, Hughes threw longer combinations at the halfway mark. It often started and ended with left hooks, though he rarely ventured beyond a comfortable pace and was partly guilty of coasting.

Gary Lockett, Hughes’ trainer and manager, appeared to grow frustrated with his charge’s lack of urgency by the seventh round. After a brief rally from Matthews, Hughes responded to it by sitting down on his counters, appearing to buzz his opponent with an uppercut.

Matthews has only been stopped once in his eight-year career and his powers of recovery were used to bounce back from brief stuns on more than one occasion in the final round.

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