Alex Hughes hungry to start another knockout streak as he eyes titles in the near future

Alex Hughes hungry to start another knockout streak as he eyes titles in the near future

Maerdy’s Alex Hughes (7-0, 3KO) is hoping to start another knockout streak when he takes on Huddersfield’s game Alistair Warren (9-12-4, 4KO) in his first fight of 2016.

Their fight on Frank Warren’s 16 July show on BoxNation TV (Sky Ch. 437) is scheduled for eight rounds but ‘Bad News’ isn’t planning to hear the final bell at the Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff Bay.

The 22-year-old super-middleweight said: “I definitely don’t hope to go the distance. I’ve been beasting myself all year really. It feels like, in the gym, that everything is coming together for me and I want a knockout win on my record.

“All I know is what I’ve seen of him. He’s game more than anything, he’ll come and really have a go. I know that I can’t cut corners in the gym and not do things right because it could catch up with me.

“One of my best performances was my debut. I boxed a tough guy at the time, Mark Till, who really come to have a go at me. I do think when you have someone come and have a go, like Warren will, you have the extra nerves and perform better.”

Alex HughesAfter a busy schedule in 2015, which included five outings, Hughes hasn’t fought since December, when he widely out-pointed Murad Dalkhaev in Russia. A number of cancelled and postponed shows have resulted in nearly seven months of inactivity, also giving Hughes the chance to learn more in the gym.

He said: “My first four fights, I stopped three of them and then I fought Wayne Reed. In the first three rounds I was loading up with everything and it caught up with me. In my last few fights, I’ve not really been loading up as much but I’ve been taking my time too much.

“Working with the likes of Liam [Williams – British and Commonwealth super-welterweight champion] and I’ve been sparring George Groves all year, I know how to balance my work better now, when to put it in and when to take a breather. It’s all going good now.”

Since first visiting Gary Lockett’s gym when he was 16-year-old, Hughes has seen a host of stablemates collect British, Commonwealth and European belts. It’s been a right of passage to watch them prepare and play the opponent in sparring. Now though, Hughes wants to taste of silverware straps for himself.

He said: “The plan is once we get this one out of the way, I’m sure everything will go well, we’ll maybe get one more in and for my 10th fight, we’re looking at a title fight. I’ve trained alongside the boys who have won titles, so I’ve got an insight in to what it takes to get them.

“Obviously it’s one step at a time, we’ll be looking at something like an Inter-Continental title to get my ranking up. One step at a time, I’m just working my balls off at the minute.

“Of course, it [a Welsh Area title] does interest me. I won a lot in the amateurs, it’s my home country, so it’s always going to be something great to win. There are a few decent super-middleweights in Wales; it’s quite exciting here. That’s definitely a possibility.”

It will be Hughes’ third fight in his home country and by far the biggest occasion with WBA world super-bantamweight ruler Guillermo Rigondeaux and WBO world lightweight boss Terry Flanagan on the same show. Excitement has spiked in South Wales with the involvement of Clydach Vale’s Liam Williams and Hughes is happy to help fly the Rhondda flag.

He said: “Up my end of the valley, it’s buzzing up there. You’ve got me and Liam on the show and we live about five miles away from each other. It’s talk of the town, so you can imagine the reception we’re both going to get.

“I’ve done over 100 tickets at the moment and over the last two to three weeks, it really starts picking up. We’ll do well, it’s going to be a big night for us.”