SUNDERLAND heavyweight Danny “Boy” Hughes has returned to Wearside after completing testing sparring sessions against British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
And the addition of Fury to Hughes’ sparring CV means Castletown’s finest has either fought or sparred with every one of the British top 10 heavyweights – barring the man ranked at number one in the listings, David Haye.
Hughes’ manager Tommy Conroy said: “Fury is fighting the American Nick Furtha in Belfast this weekend, a boxer pretty much the same size as Danny, so Tyson asked him to come to his training camp in Lancaster to spar.
“It was an excellent experience for Danny, to be in with someone of Tyson Fury’s capabilities.
“At 25 years old, he’s still in the process of learning his trade as a heavyweight boxer, but he’s getting an excellent grounding with the quality of fighters he’s going into the ring with.”
Hughes, pictured right, said: “I enjoyed sparring with Tyson but it was a real test because I’ve never come across someone as tall as him in the ring.
“I’m 6ft 5ins tall so I’m not used to punching upwards, but Tyson’s 6ft 9ins.
“You wouldn’t have thought it would make that much of a difference – but it does.
“It was good to go in with him, though, because I’m learning all the time.
“I’ve now fought Audley Harrisson and Michael Sprott in the last couple of years and stopped Neil Perkins.
“And as well as sparring with Fury, I’ve sparred with Danny Williams, Martin Rogan, John McDermott, Dave Price, Sam Sexton and Chris Burton.
“It’s all good experience and I hope to take what I’ve learnt into the ring in my own fights.
“You get all different levels of intensity of sparring, but some of the rounds I’ve been involved with against some of the best heavyweights in the country have been intense and I’ve held my own in them, sometimes maybe come out better. That gives me a lot of confidence.”
Hughes’ next fight is due to be held in Sunderland at the end of the month.
He will top the latest bill of the North East Executive Sporting Club fight night at the Pullman Lodge in Seaburn on Thursday, September 29, when he takes on as yet unnamed Eastern European opposition.
Danny, who was forced to shelve plans of appearing on this weekend’s Rainton Meadows boxing bill, said: “I’m glad to get a fight in this month.
“I want to be fighting regularly from now on and I want to look to step up in class next year.
“I’ve fought or sparred against the top lads and it has been an education in itself.
“But this month’s fight is important to me in building up my experience in the ring.
“I’m hungry to get on with my career but all I’m thinking of right now is taking care of business in this fight coming up.”
Tickets are still available for the Pullman show and anyone interested in going should contact either Danny on 07852 109906 or Tommy on 07850 434457.