Maxi Hughes has told Kid Galahad to prepare for life after boxing as he defends his IBO World Lightweight title at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on Saturday night, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding Australia and New Zealand).
Hughes (25-2-2, 5 KOs) defends his title for the second time, after widely outpointing fellow Brit Ryan Walsh in March in his first defence, following his shutout win over the dangerous Giovanni Straffon to land the belt last September.
‘Maximus’ is riding the crest of a wave, unbeaten since November 2019 and enjoying the ‘Cinderella Man’ status that has come with his impressive run of form, that has seen him be linked with big time battles against Californian star Ryan Garcia and former World ruler Jorge Linares.
The Rossington man has put those thoughts to one side for this South Yorkshire derby though, with former IBF Featherweight ruler Galahad () stepping up two weights in his ring return and looking for an immediate return to boxing’s top table – but his 32 year old opponent says Saturday night could be the end of the line for the Ingle Gym slickster.
“I hope he has a plan in place for life after boxing because after Saturday night he’s got nowhere to go,” said Hughes.
“He was Featherweight champion, and he was looking to go to Super-Feather, so I am surprised that he’s jumping up two weights to face me. It’s a high-profile fight, he’s been IBF champion and they usually regard their champions highly, so they may rank him highly, so beating KG should improve my ranking. It would be nice to get a top five ranking with them and move towards to a bigger fight. It’s the same every time for me, get this one won, and a bigger fight could be next.
“I don’t take boxing personally, this is my full time job and that’s where my mind is at. He’s in the way of me providing for my family. I’ the underdog and I love that. He was a World champion in his last fight so he’s a high-calibre opponent, that’s really getting the juices flowing.
“I have faith in my ability and where I am in my team. I’m not one for bold predictions – I just want a win, however it comes, and I believe I am going to get it.”
On a stacked undercard, Denaby Main’s Terri Harper (12-1-1, 6 KOs) leaps up in weight to challenge Scotland’s Hannah Rankin (12-5, 3 KOs) for her IBO and WBA Super-Welterweight World Titles in an intriguing England vs. Scotland clash.
Former IBO and WBC Super-Featherweight World Champion Harper lost her titles at the hands of the USA’s Alycia Baumgardner on the undercard of Galahad vs. Martinez last year before landing the WBA Intercontinental Lightweight Title against Yamila Belen Abellaneda in March.
Rankin captured gold by decisioning Maria Lindberg over 10 rounds at the Tottenham Hotspur FC Banqueting Hall in November 2021 before defending her belts against Mexico’s Alejandra Ayala at The SSE Hydro, Glasgow in May.
Birmingham Heavyweight prospect Solomon Dacres (4-0, 1 KO) meets Dominic Akinlade (9-3-1, 4 KOs) over ten rounds, former Team GB Olympian Cheavon Clarke (2-0, 2 KOs) looks to maintain his perfect start to life in the Cruiserweight division against Argentina’s Marcos Nicolas Karalitzky (7-5-2, 2 KOs), Alnwick Welterweight talent Cyrus Pattinson (4-0, 2 KOs) has his fifth fight in the paid ranks, new Matchroom Super-Welterweight signing Junaid Bostan (2-0, 2 KOs) aims to make it three knockouts from three fights, Mansfield Super-Bantamweight prospect Nico Leivars (2-0-1) returns to action after his technical draw in Sheffield and Wigan Lightweight Rhiannon Dixon (5-0) fights for the first time under the STN Sports banner.
Maxi Hughes (defends IBO World Lightweight title against Kid Galahad): Only Barry knows if he’s the same after that KO. Speaking to Terri about it, she had the same with Alicia Baumgardner on the same night, but she’s exorcised those demons in March by getting back in the ring. I spoke to Tony Bellew, and he said, no-one gets to see if they have exorcised the demons until they get back through the ropes and get hit on the chin by eight ounce gloves. There was genuine compassion there, no-one likes to see a fellow fighter go down as heavy as that and see paramedics rush to the ring. We never think it’s going to happen we just want to get in, fight and get home to our families.
I don’t put pressure on myself in terms of ‘get through this fight and the next fight is massive’. It’s the way I live my life. I’ve got two young kids that I adore, and being a full-time boxer means I am around them more, that’s where the pressure comes because I want to keep living that life. What comes next will happen, nothing is guaranteed, I just want to keep being a full-time fighter and the best Dad to my kids.
The form and momentum are with me, but I am underdog again and that’s something I am used to, it’s just how I approach things regardless of what people think, the bookies think; we’re confident as a team in what we’re doing and that’s the most important thing – getting my hand raised and hearing ‘and still’.
Kid Galahad (moves up to Lightweight to challenge Hughes): I always put big pressure on myself in every fight. I’ve got the underdog mentality, every fight is do or die and I must do a job on Maxi Hughes, and I will. This new weight I feel fresher, I’m not struggling, and I feel great.
With the Kiko Martinez loss, that’s boxing, it can happen, I went straight back into the gym. You (Eddie) said to me to go on holiday and have a break, but I had to get in the gym and clear my mind, think about how it went wrong, I know what I did wrong, we’ve adjusted it and on Saturday night we’ll see that.
Maxi’s mate Josh got KO’d by Mauricio Lara and he came back to win a World title, so it depends how you are built. I think if Maxi got KO’d the way I did, he would have been finished but I am a different gravy to him, and on Saturday we’ll see.
It’s not mind games, it’s the truth. I got KO’d by Kiko, he asked his trainer to pull him out of a fight because he had a bloody nose. That’s the truth, I’m not sugar-coating it, I would rather go out on my shield, that’s the difference in our mentalities.
Terri Harper (moves up to challenge Rankin for the WBA and IBO titles): I’m excited, this is the first camp that I can say I’ve really enjoyed, not just because of the weight but everything else. I feel I have my chance to become World champion again, I’ve got the fire burning and I’m hungry for it and I know getting the win at the weekend will open even more doors, so I am excited.
People don’t realize that I walk around at 10/11/12st, so me cutting weight to get to Super-Featherweight, that was reckless, and I was fighting World class fighters under fueled, tired, and unhappy. So, when we got this chance to go up the weights, I just knew I would feel comfortable at the weight and go in there knowing I can handle myself.
I’ve matured as a fighter; I’ve experienced a lot of things. Hannah thinks I am quiet, timid, and shy but I’m here to show that I do have a voice and it’s not Stefy on my twitter, I can handle myself.