Hughes hoping to impress on Frank Warren debut

Hughes hoping to impress on Frank Warren debut

Maerdy’s Alex ‘Bad News’ Hughes (3-0, 2KO) is looking to make a good first impression on Frank Warren when he enters the ring on Saturday. Having recently signed a promotional deal, the 21-year-old prodigy will make his debut under the Hall of Fame entrant at the SSE [Wembley] Arena. Hughes said: “That’s my aim come Saturday, to put a really good performance on and hopefully impress Frank. “I’m really happy to get the ball rolling with Frank and it’s on a good show as well. It’s in Wembley and really exciting for me. “We only found out [about the fight] last Friday but I was in training and gym-fit, anyway. So, we jumped at it and grabbed it with both hands. I’m really looking forward to taking the opportunity. When things like this do come up, I’m ready to get in there and get on with it.” In just Hughes’ fourth fight, he was scheduled to foray beyond the four round distance for the first time and step up to a six rounder. However, when Danny Brown (6-18-3), who also operates with the alias of ‘Bad News’, withdrew on Tuesday, Hughes was then matched with Hungary’s Gyorgy Varga (3-2) and circumstances of the late change saw it cut to four rounds. The Welshman still plans to compete in a six rounder in his next fight and it’s a sign of his team’s confidence, which includes Gary Lockett as trainer and manager. Hughes said: “Six rounds – that’s what I wanted from this one, more than anything. It couldn’t really come off but for my next fight, we’ll definitely get a six rounder. “When I first turned [professional], I had problems with my brain scan. For the first two-and-a-half years of me turning pro, I couldn’t fight but I was constantly in the gym and sparring all these top prospects. I think I was always going to be in front of the normal person who makes their debut because of that.” Hughes operates in the middleweight division and he has recently been sparring one of the countries top contenders. Trowbridge’s Nick Blackwell has joined the same gym in Cardiff and locked horns with Hughes in preparation to challenge for the vacant British title against John Ryder on 30 May at London’s O2 Arena on Sky Box Office. Reflecting on the experience, Hughes said: “I watch Liam [Williams – Commonwealth light-middleweight champion] and we have Nick Blackwell in the gym, too. When you’ve got these long distance fights, I can see from them that the pace will pick up in training, definitely. “I’ve got the likes of Nick alongside me now, we do a lot of sparring and he’s one of the top middleweights in Britain. So, my aim is to get to that level in the next two to three years and seeing how he does things is helping me a lot in the gym. “I genuinely think Liam is the best light-middleweight in Britain and Nick is definitely in the top four middleweights in Britain, too. So, I couldn’t wish for any better company, really.” As a stylish operator, who can counterpunch on the front and back foot, Hughes is one of the most watchable novice prospects in the United Kingdom and he’s hoping to secure some coverage on BoxNation TV. He said: “There will be a lot of people watching this show at the weekend and I’ll have it on my mind. It help me put that extra performance on and I really look forward to it. “I’m not too flash and I’ll always give it my best on fight night. I’ll never come and put in half a shift, hopefully everyone who comes to watch or tunes in will get their monies worth out of me. That’s what I aim to do, anyway.” Hughes’ technical ability has never been in question but his power, particularly with his lead left hand, has surprised some onlookers, even including himself. He had never stopped anyone in over 50 fights as an amateur but scored back-to-back knockouts in his first pair of professional outings. Hughes said: “I never realised I had that power. Gary [Lockett] always said to me that I need confidence and stand my ground because I have power to hurt people. When I started doing it, it was a shock to myself as much as anyone else. “Watching that last fight back [four round points victory over Deividas Sajauka] with Gary, I think if I had a bit more speed, I could’ve stopped that guy. Y’know, I won’t be looking for it or anything but because of that experience, I’ll be able to recognise it more if the chance does come next time.”

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