JOE Hughes is ready to play the long game as he prepares for his first ten-round fight in April.

The 23-year-old light-welterweight is set for his next contest, which could still be for a Masters title, at the Errol Johnson-promoted bill at the Forum, in Bath, on April 5.

Hughes career experienced a welcome change of pace as the he racked up two victories in two months at the end of last year and the Malmesbury fighter, who trains at Paddy John's Gym in Bristol, thinks that a longer fight will suit his style down to the ground.

"I had one fight in October and one fight in December and that was more like it. This fight was originally going to be in March but it's still soon enough,” said Hughes.

“It's going to be against a tough opponent and it might be for a masters belt or something like that but we'll have to wait and see what happens there.

“I've done ten rounds a hundred times in the the gym but it's obviously going to be a lot different in an actual fight.

“But I think that it might suit me because I like to take my time and I hate going out there and rushing.

“Since I signed with my trainer Andy O'Kane as my manager, I seem to be getting a lot more fights and it's nice to see a bit of progress.

“We want to try and push me up the rankings as much as possible so that I'm in with a shout of fighting for the English title or the Southern Area, or at least for an eliminator for one of those.”

Nigerian light-middleweight King Davidson is set to top the evening’s fight card as he defends his WBO international title whilst Bristol boxer Danny Butler, who is Hughes' stablemate will be making a second defence of the English middleweight belt.

Fellow Wiltshire fighters Nick Blackwell, Gareth Heard, Luke Martin and Dan Carr, from Trowbridge's Contender Gym, are all set to be in action as well as Mike Rose and Tony Hill.