BOXING: Joe’s determined to put on belting show

This Is Wiltshire: Joe Hughes will fight for the International Masters light-welterweight title on Saturday Joe Hughes will fight for the International Masters light-welterweight title on Saturday

JOE Hughes is ready to take a confident step into the unknown when he bids for his first professional title on Saturday night.

The 23-year-old, from Malmesbury, will bid for the International Masters light-welterweight belt at the Forum, in Bath, and the former ABA national champion had been preparing for a ten-round contest with Worcester’s Michael Mooney (4-7) but a late change of opponent has seen 21-year-old Bulgarian Kristian Dochev (9-14) enter the fray.

But Hughes is refusing to be unsettled by the shift in the landscape of his first title fight.

“It was easier before because we knew who we were preparing for but I don’t know too much about the Bulgarian kid,” said Hughes.

“I only found out that the other opponent had pulled out two weeks ago and I didn’t even hear an excuse but I guess it’s right that I’m fighting an international opponent for an international title.

“I know that he (Dochev) will be coming to England to turn me over and he’ll definitely come forward, rather than run away for the whole fight, like my last few opponents have done.

“Back in the amateur days, you never knew anything about who you were fighting until you got in the ring, so this will be similar – I’ll have to adapt and try to work him out in the first few rounds.

“It’s my first title fight and hopefully I can win it and it’s the first of many.”

Wiltshire fighters Nick Blackwell, Gareth Heard, Luke Martin and Dan Carr are all also in action in Bath.

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