BOXER Joe Hughes says defeat to Ruben Rodriguez tomorrow night could call time on his top-level career as a professional.

The Malmesbury man is back in action after suffering defeat at the hands of Anthony Yigit in their European super-lightweight title clash in Leicester in early December.

The quick turnaround was something Hughes was keen to do, as he looks to build on the momentum of two television appearances in 2017.

Tomorrow, Hughes will square up against Spaniard Rodriguez at the University of the West of England in a bid to get back to winning ways in 2018.

Hard-hitter Rodriguez has a record of six wins, two draws and one defeat, with his last bout ending in a knockout victory.

Despite being confident in his own ability, Hughes acknowledges there is always a chance of an upset in boxing.

“I feel good,” he said. “I’m excited to get back in there. Usually I have to have quite a long wait in between fights.

“I’m up against a Rueben Rodriguez and he looks like he can punch a bit. He won by knockout in his last fight.

“I think it will be entertaining. He’s a big puncher and he likes to come forward, he’s aggressive but I think I should be too skilful for him.

“There is always the danger with a big puncher, one big shot and it could be game over – that’s boxing.

“This year I want to have big fights and to be honest if I lose this one, it is curtains for the big fights because I’ll lose my ranking and everything like that.”

Once this bout is out of the way, the Malmesbury fighter is hoping to have another busy year as he looks to regain some ground he lost in his last two contests.

“Hopefully later on in the year, in the spring I will be able to get another big fight and push on a bit further,” added Hughes, who also fought out a draw with British champion Tyrone Nurse last year.

“My career as been a bit stop-start. I’m not overlooking the fight but I am confident. Ideally, I’d like to have four or five fights this year, normally I have two, but that isn’t very good because I have so long between fights.

“If I can get the momentum and everything else behind me this year then that would be good.

“In my whole career I’ve wanted to be busier. This is my eighth year as a professional and I have only had 19 fights, that is not enough.”