As a late March outing with Birmingham’s Lee Glover was shelved, Beeston’s lightweight fighter, Joe Underwood Hughes, 7-0 (1), under the guidance of Scott Calow, quickly announced that he would instead, this coming weekend (16 April), be competing in the BOXXER (Lightweight) tournament, at the Coventry Skydome Arena.
Alongside seven other fighters, all with varying degrees of experience, including a fellow Notts fights in Otis Lookham (1-0 (1), Carl Greaves stable), Hughes is, confident, he has plenty in the tank to give him success, the winnings, and of course, future opportunities with Sky Sports Boxing.
(For the record, Glover is opposing Campbell Hatton on the same night, in Manchester, on the Connor Benn vs Chris van Heerden, WBA Continental welterweight title undercard)
Similar to the Prizefighter tournament of old, Hughes and his team will travel to Coventry later this week, wait for the draw for the quarterfinals, and hopefully get a picture of how things pan out from the there – fighters taking part in three minute, three round contests.
“I’m more than ready, excited, and can’t wait for this, it’s my time to shine,” states a hyped up Joe Hughes.
“I literally had to have the fight cancelled with Glover, then prepare for, and announce this tournament.
“When Scott (Calow) first started asking me about it, I didn’t even think he was serious, let alone already in advanced talks with them.
“We then contacted Glover’s team, and they were already withdrawing (due to the Hatton fight), and this was already there, on the table for me, so why not.”
Granted, the Glover contest failed to materialise, but, had Hughes’ entry in the BOXXER fallen to the wayside, he could have still fought at the Harvey Hadden in late March, his tea, having had a Spaniard available as back-up.
That however, has not been needed, and Hughes, and his team, just added a few weeks extra weeks’ worth of training onto what he’d already put together.
Now, it’s all about this weekend, under the Sky Sports lights in Coventry, with Hughes, and Lookham, flying the Nottingham flag for success – as well as the Notts duo, they could face either of Rylan Charlton (7-2-1 (3), Norwich), Dylan Cheema (2-0, Birmingham), Shaun Cooper (12-3, Willenhall), Tion Gibbs (8-0, Birmingham), Scott Melvin (4-0 (1), Chelmsley Wood), and Brooklyn Tilley (3-0, Rainham).
“I’ve looked at all the fighters, as I’m sure the rest of the lads have, but you can’t go there having trained for just one fight,” explained Joe.
“My focus is on me, the best version of me, and what will be, will be.
“Yes, (Dylan) Cheema and (Otis) Lookham, are inexperienced in the pro game, but Cheema is a former kickboxing champion, and Lookham has got experience from the unlicensed game, so they, as well as (Brooklyn) Tilley, all undefeated prospects, stand a chance.
“(Shaun) Cooper and (Rylan) Charlton are both experienced, the latter having stopped Joe Laws in three; whilst (Scott) Melvin and (Tion) Gibbs, both of those had good amateur careers.”
Hughes though, there’s extra motivation going into this, and the prospect of what lies on the other side.
The carrot in front of him, and the other combatants, is a nice one to be afforded, but, with seven straight wins already under his belt, Hughes, was close to being in title contention, with later this year a possible target.
Winning outright, in Coventry, will push him towards that goal, maybe a little sooner, but he’s more than ready to step up, and be counted.
“I’ve certainly had some tough fights already as a pro,” added Joe.
“Winning this though, it does move you further up the pecking order, but I’ve got an extra four weeks training in the bank, and I want that contract, that’s what I’m after, the prize for me.
“Then we can look forward; I know I’m pencilled in for the (Chad) Sugden undercard in the summer, and hopefully there’ll be a title eliminator for me then.
“I would to win the Midlands though, I’d like to bring that home for Nathan Kirk (lost to Charlie Williams back in 2017; title currently held by – Tion Gibbs).
“Nathan is a good friend of mine, so I’d like to do that, for him.”
Undefeated Beeston fighter, Joe Underwood Hughes, is one of eight fighters contesting the BOXXER (Lightweight) tournament this coming weekend, at the Coventry Skydome Arena, live on Sky Sports Action (20:00, Saturday 16 April).
The draw for the quarter-finals of the BOXXER tournament, threw up the following, four contests –
- QF1 – Otis Lookham vs Dylan Cheema
- QF 2 – Tion Gibbs vs Scott Melvin
- QF 3 – Rylan Charlton vs. Joe Hughes
- QF 4 – Shaun Cooper vs Brooklyn Tilley
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @jhbxng Joe Hughes looking to progress in front of the Sky cameras on Saturday.