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The Weighting Game: Hughes Ready for Area Shot (and food)

Well known for his flamboyant (or hideous, depending on your tastes) kits, half arsed grammar and affable personality, it’s fair to say that super flyweight Jack Hughes is a very popular #TeamSouthpawJab member. The team WhatsApp group would certainly be less fun without him, as would the British super flyweight scene. Hughes looks to make history on 1st December’s busy Goodwin Boxing show at York Hall; where Southampton’s Ricky Little stands between Jack and the inaugural Southern Area Super Flyweight title.

With just over a week to go before the biggest bout of his life, Jack spoke to Southpaw Jab, having been busy showing off his agility and stamina on social media- at a less than usual venue. “I went to the trampoline park, man that thing was hard! I had to have a sit down after like twenty minutes.” It’s not the traditional display of skill you might see a boxer posting online prior to a title fight, but it gets across Jack’s fun loving side perfectly. He has a sense of humour about himself, but he has worked hard to get to where he is, having tasted defeat in only his first professional bout.

Asked how it feels to be on his second title fight (Jack won the International Challenge belt two fights ago) from that difficult start, Hughes knows the defeat caused doubts about his potential.

“It’s a funny one, because after losing the debut you can hear the whispers, the snide jokes which aren’t really jokes, you know? Fast forward five fights and I’m on the verge of making history. The whispers are different now, it’s what a couple wins can do.”

Probing about the specifics of the fight: opponent, game plan, weight and so on, it’s obvious immediately what Jack is excited about. The belt? Goes without saying. Another first, though, is exciting the Ealing man.

“First ever day before weigh in, I can’t wait! I’ve got it all planned. I reckon it should make a difference with energy levels on the day. After I’ve made weight I’ll have a little bit of pasta to keep me going, then I’m hitting up Beehive in Ealing which is good portions and healthy food.

On the day, obviously I’m going for Turkish eggs! Yoghurt and poached eggs with a little bit of chilli oil. Truth Cafe near me do it best.”

Making weight is not a worry, in fact it’s the cause of all this food on Hughes’ brain, “I do love my food. It’s the hardest part of camp. I stop sparring about two weeks beforehand, fight week don’t do much at all- just hit the pads and make weight. I’m 52.9kg now, so not far off.”

But what of Little, who fought the now WBA Continental champion, and British number two Charlie Edwards in his last fight; ending in a TKO loss in round one. “To be honest I don’t really know anything about him. Got to see what he brings, feel him out and focus on my own game, and hope it comes together really.”

Complacent, perhaps? “No, not at all. Brian [Gee- coach] always says to me, train and fight like you’re fighting Floyd Mayweather, never underestimate anyone.”

Hughes is, while expecting the best Ricky Little possible, naturally confident of taking the title and a little bit of history home. It’s a tantalising prospect, but comes with its own set of problems given there are only thirteen listed super flyweights in the country; making roughly 1.8 fighters per area…

“In an ideal world I’d defend it a couple times but there’s only a few of us super flyweights and one of them won’t fight me yet [Sam Cantwell who was offered the Southern Area title fight against Jack]. I don’t really care he turned it down, I’ve got no hard feelings as he seems like a nice lad. You can’t force someone to fight, and I’ve got the fight anyway.”

Often boxers won’t talk on how they see their bout going, or if they do will immediately request (quite reasonably) that it is not used in the final piece. As ever, the way to Jack’s heart is through his stomach. He took a family bag of Doritos in his kit to his last fight- with dip no less, and always heads out to a restaurant with his family after competing. December 1st will be no different.

“Me and Martyna [Jack’s girlfriend] have got a little bet, if I knock him out she’ll take me to Big Moe’s Diner and pay for it all for me! I reckon it won’t go past six.”

They do say a hungry fighter is a dangerous one. One final concern must be addressed, though. After winning the International Challenge Title, there was a disconcerting “celebratory” photo taken by the couple, of Hughes wearing nothing but the belt. This, surely, won’t happen again if he’s triumphant?

“I dunno, it might become a tradition!”

All at Southpaw Jab are very excited to hear “and the NEW!” followed by Jack’s name on December 1st. Less so about the celebratory photograph.

For tickets to the show, which also features #TeamSouthpawJab’s Ricky Heavens, and two other title fights, including Miles Shinkwin‘s English Light Heavyweight showdown and Deion Jumah‘s Southern Area Crusierweight clash with Ossie Jervier, contact Jack through social media, or click on THIS LINK

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