BOXING: Joe Hughes wants to fast-track title bid by beating Mitch Prince

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Malmesbury fighter Joe Hughes Malmesbury fighter Joe Hughes

MALMESBURY’S Joe Hughes will start as underdog for the first time in his pro career when he faces Mitch Prince at Swindon's Oasis Leisure Centre on Saturday night.

But the former Senior ABA light welterweight champion hopes that victory will fast-track his attempt at a new title bid.

Prince, 29, put up a tremendously brave effort when narrowly losing on points to the title holder Willie Limond in their Commonwealth light-welterweight title fight in Glasgow back in June.

Both fighters earned a standing ovation after that epic encounter.

South African-born Prince also represented Scotland in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The bout at the Oasis will be the first time as a pro that he has fought outside his adopted country.

He has a very good record of 12 wins and a draw in 15 fights and since his loss to Limond he has gained an easy points win over Ivan Godor of Slovakia.

Hughes returned from an injury-enforced year out of the ring in October to record a one-sided points win over the experienced William Warburton in Trowbridge.

The 23-year-old has been beaten just once as a professional – in controversial circumstances – and is relishing the task against Prince.

He said: "It's going to be a real challenge and I am going to have to be at my best to beat him.

"But to be honest, the last thing I want at this stage in my career is another journeyman fighter. That would not be moving forward.

"I believe Mitch thought he had done enough to beat Limond over 12 rounds for the light welterweight title in the summer. He is ranked higher than me and to beat him would push me right up there and earn a title shot of my own in the New Year.

"It should be one helluva fight, in fact, I think it will steal the show on Saturday.

"His style is to come forward and throw lots of punches and he is obviously fit and strong to go 12 rounds with Limond.

"But he has never fought outside Scotland and I am hoping to have a lot of fans at the Oasis."

Tickets for Saturday's fight, which has been set at the 10st 6lb limit with a weigh-in on the day, can be booked on 07878 454570.

Standard seats are £35 and the top of the bill bout features Kelvin Young's challenge for the vacant IBO International Super Middleweight title against Bulgaria's Alexey Ribchev.

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