JOE HUGHES faces the fight he considers ‘make or break’ in Liverpool on Friday, November 30.
Malmesbury boxer Hughes, 22, steps into the ring for a six-round contest with the unbeaten Paul Archer, another starlet from the Frank Maloney stable.
It will provide a fascinating preliminary to the British and Commonwealth heavyweight title top-of-the-bill bout between David Price and Matt Skelton at Aintree Racecourse.
Unbeaten Price recently destroyed Audley Harrison in 82 seconds, while another mouth-watering match on the card is Darren Hamilton's British light-welterweight title defence against local boxer Steve Williams.
Hughes, the former Senior ABA champion who has just one blemish on his seven-fight professional record, feels he cannot afford another loss at this stage of his career.
“This is a make or break fight, my most important to date, and it’s the biggest bill I have appeared on so far,” said Hughes.
“It will be televised live on the Box Nation TV subscription channel and if I win, I am right back up there.
“I have already been nominated for a tilt at the Southern Area title which would only be two or three fights away in the New Year.
“But if I lose to Archer, I am nowhere.”
Since the last time he appeared on one of his manager Frank Maloney’s promotions, Hughes has been a comfortable winner over Matt Seawright and Mark McKray – two ‘journeymen’ fighters – in Gloucester and Swindon respectively.
The vastly experienced Seawright failed to come out for the sixth and final round after one of Hughes’ power punches had broken his nose and the Malmesbury man showed the full array of his skills when completely outboxing McKray.
Archer, who also has an easy decision over Seaweight on his record is going to be a different proposition. “He is unbeaten in six bouts and from what I have seen of him on You Tube, he is a skilful, technical boxer who likes to work at long range,” said Hughes. “It should be an interesting fight.
“We were around at the same time as amateurs but I never met him."
Hughes considers himself in good shape for the bout on Friday week, although his training has not gone entirely smoothly.
“I have had a bad knee which has affected my running and a problem with my hand, but everything seems fine now,” he said.
“It is important to win in Liverpool if I am to challenge for titles in 2013.”