After enjoying a breakout 2020, Maxi Hughes is set for his first effort of 2021. MTK Global announced yesterday that with Liam Walsh “still recovering from COVID-19,” Hughes will take his place against Paul Hyland Jr on March 19th.
The vacant British lightweight title fight is chief support for Karim Guerfi’s long-delayed European title defense against Lee McGregor.
With Liam Walsh still recovering from COVID, @BOXERMAXIHUGHES steps up— MTK Global Boxing (@MTKGlobal) February 18, 2021
Maxi Hughes @PaulhylandJR
Vacant British Lightweight Title
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ESPN+ / IFL TV#HughesHylandJnr #MaxiHughes #Boxing pic.twitter.com/BSk2bHV574
“Maximus” (22-5-2, 4 KO) entered last year having thoroughly established himself as an “opponent,” beating low-level opposition while falling to up-and-comers like Scott Cardle, Sam Bowen, and the aforementioned Walsh. His greatest accomplishment was forcing a draw against Martin Joseph Ward, who went on to beat him twice. Jono Carroll, meanwhile, was less than half a year removed from a career-best mauling of Scott Quigg.
Hughes wound up scoring a massive upset, then knocked Viktor Kotochigov from the ranks of the unbeaten two months later.
Hyland (20-2, 7 KO) has yet to turn that same corner. His two biggest fights to date saw him demolished in one round by Lewis Ritson and stopped in six by Francesco Patera.