DANNY ‘Boy’ Hughes is fighting fit after an intensive training regime on the south coast saw him tipping the scales at the lightest weight of his career.
Now he’s hoping for the form of his life to match his improved physique.
The Castletown Kid, who turned 25 last week, wants to make his mark on the country’s heavyweight division this year and he’ll get his first shot at the end of the month when he fights in London.
It will be a reward for the boxer’s willingness to sacrifice home comforts in the North East for weeks at a boot camp in Brighton which finally saw him shed the pounds which have held him back.
And Hughes himself couldn’t be happier with the way things are going since he knuckled down.
He told the Echo: “It has been hard being away from home but it has worked and I can really see and feel the difference.
“I’ve been training every day down south and without the distractions you get at home, I’ve just been able to concentrate on my fitness and my boxing and cutting down my weight.
“I’ve always liked my food and I’ve got a good social life in the North East too but I know those things can hold you back when you’re trying to get in the shape needed to be a successful heavyweight boxer.
“So when my trainer, Tommy Conroy, suggested I go down to Brighton to train there for a while, I agreed to give it a go.
“It’s worked really well –it has been great to see the pounds coming off.
“And with a fight coming up at the end of the month, I’m still working to try to get down to my target weight of 18st.
Hughes is a natural heavyweight and has gone into the ring at well over 20st plus in the past.
The lightest he has been was in Sky’s Prizefighter series when he gave Audley Harrison a run for his money at a weight of 18st 8lb.
Back in the North East at the weekend though, he currently tips the scales at 18st 6lb and believes he can lose those final 6lb before he fights a so far unnamed opponent on a showcase bill in Mayfair, London on Thursday, March 31.
Tommy Conroy, who was delighted with Hughes’s shape on his brief return to Sunderland, said: “It’s great to see Danny dedicating himself to the sport in the way he is doing at the moment.
“I keep telling him he’s a real prospect in this game if he can get his weight down to the levels he’s reaching now and at 18st or thereabouts I would fancy him against anyone in the English heavyweight division,
“He’ll be fighting at the end of the month and it’s a bout I’m looking forward to.
“We don’t know the opponent just yet but I’m excited about Danny’s potential now that he’s really going for it in terms of his boxing career.
“I’m also grateful to the former boxer Scott Welch, who is a friend of mine down in Brighton for helping train Danny and allowing him use of his gym.”