Featured image: Top Rank Twitter.
After a whirlwind 33 fight career so far, Rossington lightweight Maxi Hughes (26-5-2, 5KOs) crosses the Atlantic to take on former lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr (20-2-0, 10KOs) in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The 33 year old heads to Shawnee, Oklahoma’s Firelake Arena in a bid to move one step closer to fighting for the IBF lightweight crown.
Hughes rebounded to a 2019 defeat to Liam Walsh with a routine four-round points win before stepping in against an in-form Jono Carroll in the heart of the first lockdown three years ago.
Hardly a stranger to entering a bout an underdog, the Yorkshire man upset the odds to hand the Irishman a narrow ten-round points defeat.
Hughes didn’t stop there, going on to upset Jovanni Straffon, Ryan Walsh and most impressively former featherweight champion Kid Galahad as he continues to pave a way to the world lightweight scene.
The opportunity to headline a Top Rank show stateside will have seemed like a fever dream just two years ago but the Briton heads into this weekend knowing victory will almost certainly land him a shot at world honours in the near future.
“You turn professional and watch all the big fights in America and you’re like, I want a bit of that”, Hughes said this week.
“I’ve had my tough times in boxing but I’ve shown a lot of mental strength and I’ve come through that. I’ve earned my right to be on this stage as main event. I’m here on merit.”
He faces a Kambosos Jnr who’s no stranger to the big occasion having faced now undisputed lightweight king Devin Haney (twice) and Teofimo Lopez Jnr in his last three fights.
The Greek-Australian upset the latter over twelve stunning rounds back in November 2021 to claim the unified lightweight championship, flooring Lopez Jr in the first before climbing off the canvas himself later on to win via split-decision.
Despite two wide defeats to Haney, both of which took place in his native Australia, Kambosos Jnr is eager to remind the division of his capabilities with an eye-catching performance this weekend.
“I’m ready and I’m looking to absolutely destroy this man in my path, and that’s no disrespect. I like Maxi, we’re giving him this opportunity”, Kambosos Jr declared this week.
“But there’s levels to this game, we’ve been there many times now. You’re gonna see a different ferocious and you’re gonna know who I am.”
Tokyo 2020 lightweight silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (8-0, 6KOs) returns in a scheduled ten-round encounter versus Belgium’s Francesco Patera (28-3-0, 10KOs).
24 year old has impressed since entering the paid ranks two-and-a-half years ago and looks to join an already bustling world lightweight scene in the coming years.
Fellow Olympian Troy Isley (9-0-0, 4KOs) also features at middleweight, facing Antonio Todd (14-8-0, 8KOs) over eight.
The main card is available to watch on Sky Sports Action from 1:00am on Sunday.