Joe Hughes makes a first defence of his English Super Lightweight Title against Anthony Upton next month knowing that victory will also put him a step closer to fulfilling a lifetime’s ambition.
The intriguing contest tops the bill of Hatton Promotions and Black Country Boxing’s co-promoted ‘Jingle Brawls’ show at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday, 5th December. As well as the English strap being up for grabs, the contest has also be given British Title Eliminator status and Hughes admits that it’s a Lord Lonsdale belt he craves most.
“What I’m after most is a Lonsdale belt for winning the British title and if I can’t beat Upton I won’t deserve a shot at that,” he told the Wilts and Gloucester Standard.
Although expecting a tough test against undefeated Upton, Hughes is confident of retaining his strap against the Ricky-Hatton-trained prospect. The Wiltshire fighter knows all about the scene of his latest fight. Walsall Town Hall may be many miles from his Malmesbury base but, thanks to his close family, he insists he will be at home in the Midlands.
“My dad is from Walsall and my grandparents still live there so I know the town very well,” he added. “It should be a great fight. There is a lot of hype surrounding Upton because he is still unbeaten and because of who is in his corner.
“Obviously Ricky Hatton was ‘the man’ when I was growing up and there were even some comparisons when I started out as a pro because he had won the same Senior ABA title that I did.
“Anthony looks tall and stylish, carries his hands low and regularly switches stance.
“He has already gone on record to say that winning the English title would be a great Christmas present, but I intend to upset his plans.
“He is going straight in at the deep end against me but then I would be doing the same thing in his shoes.”
Hatton trained prospects, Wednesbury welterweight, Sam Evans, and Market Harborough welterweight, Reuben Arrowsmith, are also back in action. The pair recorded debut victories last month and will be looking for similar outcomes this time around.
West Bromwich duo – light middleweight, Tom Stokes, and super featherweight, Jack Summers – and unbeaten quartet – Wolverhampton super featherweight, Des Bowater, Birmingham middleweight, Luke Walker, Ludlow light middleweight, Craig Morris, and stoke light welterweight, Kieron McLaren, complete the card.
Tickets, priced at £30 and £60 Ringside, are available from Walsall Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900.
The aftershow party and weigh-in will take place at Makoto Bar, Bridge Street, Walsall.