11th June 2011

Danny ‘Boy’ Hughes – pic by Glen Harris

Sunderland heavyweight contender Danny ‘Boy’ Hughes cruised to a comfortable 40-36 points victory over Bulgarian Taynar Nehmed, in a four rounder at the Oceana Nightclub in Southampton on Saturday night.


The 25-year-old heavyweight is hoping that trainer Scott Welch and manager Tommy Conroy can help him to move into the British rankings, and if he keeps performing and improving like he is, it wont be long before Hughes is knocking on the door and getting noticed.

I believe I can go to the very top I think if any man wants to achieve anything in what they do they need to believe they can.’ – Danny ‘Boy Hughes’

Hughes is hoping to keep himself busy and has been looking abroad for experienced opponents, this was his second east European match-up in the space of a couple of months, after beating Croatian Kreso Boganovic in May. It’s likely now his next fight will be up in his North East neck of the woods, at the Executive Sporting Club in September, as he looks to keep busy.

Hughes has been training and basing himself in Brighton at Welch’s gym and he was to headline the big show at the Metropole hotel last month, but had to withdraw, after suffering a cut against Boganovic.

The Sunderland man is a big lump of a lad, standing 6ft 5′ and is showing real promise at this new stage of his career. In October 2009, Hughes entered the ‘Prizefighter heavyweights Tournament at London’s ExCel Arena, after seven fights unbeaten. He knocked out Neil Perkins in the first round of his Quarter final, before just losing out on points to eventual winner Audley Harrison in the semi.

A year later Hughes was offered the chance of ‘Prizefighter again, this time he was beaten by Michael Sprott on points. Former European champion and Olympic gold medalist Harrison and former British champion Sprott are Hughes only two defeats in twelve fights.

Since then, Hughes has used the setbacks to reignite his career, which as seen him lose weight and join Welch in Brighton and now attempts to get enter the next level again, with a different focus!

Hughes is our ‘British Boxer of the Week’ and we caught up with him to discuss his recent win, Prizefighter and what the future holds in boxing for Sunderland’s ‘Danny Boy’.

Danny ‘Boy Hughes with trainer Scott Welch – www.iboxingtrainer.co.uk

BB: This was your second fight in two months against Nehmed, do you hope to keep busy and fight at least once a month?


DH: ‘Yeah I hope very much to keep busy and keep improving it would be fantastic if I could get a fight every month.’

BB: You have been basing yourself in Brighton recently with former British heavyweight champion Scott Welch at his gym. How did you meet Scott and it come about you training with him down South – Are you to continue to train in Brighton with Scott.. Do you live there now?


DH: ‘I met Scott when I was down Brighton with a friend and while I was down there I popped in the gym and Scott recognised me from prizefighter and said he believed I had alot of talent and could go places but i had to make some serious changes with my fitness, weight loss and right training I was 21 stone at the time in Dec and I’m now down to 17st 10 and I’ve never really been fit and I just played with the game which is a very foolish thing to do as boxing is not a game u play with. I decided to make a go of it and with a very big help from Scott Welch and 2 other people Brendan and Tony I was able to move down Brighton and I spend 2 weeks at a time down there then 3 days off and without there help I would not of been able to make such sudden changes.’

BB: Do you hope to try and fight in Sunderland regularly in front of your home fans?


DH: ‘I would love to fight in Sunderland as often as I can its my home its where most my support comes from and it’s where my fiancé, family and friends are and it’s great to fight in front of people who generally want to see u do well.

BB: You entered the heavyweight ‘Prizefighter’ twice in 2009 and 2010, losing in the first to Audley Harrison on points and then the year later to Michael Sprott again on points. Two names, so not a bad effort after only having 7 fights when you entered the first time. Do you feel ‘Prizefighter’ helped your progression and would you do it again?


DH: ‘I fought in the prizefighter twice I have still got the fasted KO record of the series when I knocked unbeaten Neil Perkins out in the 1st round then I got beat of Audley Harrison in a close fight I believe the only thing that stopped me winning was experience as it was only my 8th fight but I still wouldn’t change the fact that I got in and got beat as I learned I could stand and hold my own against good fighters.

BB: What next for you Danny Boy Hughes?

DH: ‘I hope to just keep progressing taking things slowly and keep learning with each fight. Now I’m getting fit and start to take boxing serious I believe within the next year I will be in the top mix of heavyweights.

BB: What does the future in boxing hold for Danny ‘Boy’ Hughes in the perfect scenario?


DH: ‘I believe I can go to the very top I think if any man wants to achieve anything in what they do they need to believe they can.’
Good luck with the rest of your career Danny, hope to chat again soon.

By Chris Maylett

www.stanjames.com