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Joe Hughes determined to add British title to European crown

Joe Hughes faces Robbie Davies Jr on March 30 in Liverpool.

Liam Smith & Sam Eggington Press Conference Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Matchroom’s March 30 show from Liverpool is a packed one on paper, with Liam Smith facing Sam Eggington in the main event, Philip Bowes and Tom Farrell battling for the Commonwealth 140-pound title, and junior middleweights Anthony Fowler and Scott Fitzgerald squaring off in a battle of unbeaten prospects, among other fights.

We’ll also be seeing European junior welterweight champion Joe Hughes take on British junior welterweight champion Robbie Davies Jr, with both titles at stake. While on paper fighting for the British title is, in a way, a step back for Hughes (17-3-1, 7 KO), the 28-year-old fighter doesn’t see it like that at all.

“Winning the British title has always been a goal of mine as a professional boxer,” said Hughes. “Ever since I started boxing it’s been the belt that I wanted. I think it’s the same for all British fighters, it’s the most prestigious belt out there and I’m excited to be going for it again later this month.

“Obviously I’ve won the European title which is a bigger belt in terms of rankings and things like that, but the British belt is special and to win it would be a huge honor. In a way I feel like I’m already a British champion but it would be nice to finally get my hands on the belt.”

Hughes fought for the title once before, going to a draw with then-champ Tyrone Nurse in April 2017 in Leicester.

“I should already have it. I drew for it last time I challenged for it. I thought I won the fight and most people thought I won the fight,” Hughes said. “I thought I beat Tyrone by two rounds when we fought back in 2017. He was a 9-1 favorite and I think the media couldn’t believe how the fight went.

“I felt I was hitting the cleaner shots and more of them. We wanted the rematch but it never materialized. Now I’ve got another chance to win it and I’m confident of taking it home with me this time. I’m going to win clearly enough so that the judges can’t give it any other way.”

Hughes followed that draw with Nurse by challenging Anthony Yigit for the European title in Dec. 2017, losing a decision. This past November, he went to Italy and beat Andrea Scarpa by split decision to win the vacant European title. He’s confident that that experience will take away any home field advantage that Davies might feel in Liverpool.

“I’m away from home in his backyard but that doesn’t bother me at all. It’s a huge show for Liverpool and there’s some great Liverpudlian talent on the card,” he said. “I’m sure the place will be packed to the rafters with scousers and I’m excited by that. I’ve just been to Italy where the place was packed with Italians and I still came away with the win so going to Liverpool doesn’t faze me.”

Davies (17-1, 12 KO) went 2-0 in 2018. In March, he avenged a 2017 loss to Michal Syrowatka, and in October he beat Glenn Foot by decision to win the British and Commonwealth titles.

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