DANNY ‘BOY’ Hughes has quit Wearside in a bid to make the most of his boxing talent.
The 24-year-old is spending the next three months at a Brighton gym, where his trainer and manager Tommy Conroy hopes the isolation will finally allow him do justice to his undoubted ability.
Conroy explained: “Danny will be training at the gym of Scott Welch, who is a trainer I like and respect and he has the brief to bring Danny down to 18 stone.
“It’s a pretty radical move but I think it is the only way that Danny is going to get into the shape he needs to be in.
“He’s a great lad but he’s just a normal lad from Castletown and he finds it hard to resist all the distractions there are in Sunderland with his mates and the lifestyle.
“So it’s a bit like boot camp.
“He’s going to train with Scott and if we get him down to 18 stone you’ll see a different Danny. He’ll be like a machine, and that’s what I want for him because I know he has the ability to fight for titles if he gets in his best shape.”
Danny says he is happy to sacrificed his love for Sunderland for the sake of his boxing career and is relishing relocating to the south coast.
“I’m actually enjoying it,” he told the Echo. “It was a bit strange at first because I’ve never really been away from home that long.
“But it’s a good place – a very healthy place – there’s people jogging and cycling everywhere and I’m down near the beach so its perfect for doing a bit of running.
“The gym work is hard but it’s what I need and the weight is just coming off me – I’ve lost well over a stone in my first couple of weeks here.”
Hughes, who is unbeaten outside of the Prizefighter competitions, said: “The target has been 18 stone but I’m sure I can go lower than that.
“I’ve been up 22 stone before, I’ve got down to 20 stone and I was approaching 18 stone when I was taking part in Prizefighter.
“But I have found it difficult to control the weight and coming to Brighton and working with Steve Walsh is the best way to focus on avoiding other temptations.
“It’s great for me though because seeing improvements in myself is only making me more enthusiastic about the work I’m doing.” Danny has been given a year’s sabbatical from his job as a fitness instructor at Sunderland City Council’s Wellness Centres, and said: “It’s great that they’re keeping my job open for a year.
“It is allowing me to do what I’m doing.
“I think this is going to be a very important year for me because I plan to be as sharp as I can be and see where it takes me.”
Conroy confirmed: “The lad’s got a shot at being successful in the fight game but only if he devotes himself to it.
“The idea is for him to spend three months there getting into shape but with him having 12 months free from work, he could stay there longer, or even go back a few times after the three months is up.
“Either way though, I’m just glad that we’ve got Danny working with Scott because the kid’s got talent and it’s shame if he doesn’t make the most of it.”