Ahead of his Southern Area Super Flyweight Title shot tomorrow night at York Hall, Team Southpaw Jab’s Jack “The Punk Kid” Hughes is feeling calm and confident. Desperately hungry for that leather strap tomorrow, with the weigh in completed* this afternoon, Hughes has some other business to attend to: food.

“Refueling” is the industry term, but it is always interesting to see what a fighter goes for having made weight. Some like a vegetable smoothie, others pasta, or Nandos and one guy I know loves a double peperoni pizza. Jack, who says camp has been, “fantastic, as always. I’m on weight” doesn’t seem to have quite decided yet.

“Mate, I’ve got a whole fucking bunch of snacks here for after! Some healthy, some not. Then we’re going down to a cafe in Harrow that I liked as a kid and want to go back to…

I literally have a whole fridge full of different food that I’ve stocked over the last few days, the world is my oyster!”

But when I ask, "haha, no. No oysters mate!"

Once the food has settled Jack will have to step inside the ring, headlining, to fight Paul Roberts for a belt he just lost out on to Ricky Little in a close and engaging 2018 scrap. Pull-outs from Little and a certain virus have delayed and frustrated this shot at what would be the pinnacle of the 29 year old’s career so far. Knowing Jack, it is fair to say he’s dealt well with what must be an enduring torture with the belt constantly just out of reach.

Roberts, for his part, has lost three of his last four, including to Birmingham’s Reiss “Showy” Taylor last August. Taylor dropped Roberts but it was a close fight and Showy is no pushover despite his away fighter status. I asked Jack what he knows of his foe,

“He seems like a nice guy, we shook hands and wished each other luck, and he looks in great shape to be fair to him but so am I so it doesn’t make much difference... I’ve seen him box on YouTube and with respect I don’t think that much of him. He can be sharp though, and given the time he can be quite awkward but I’m not going to give him that time. He seems to have lost to people with my style.”

This opportunity is just as vital to Paul Roberts' career as it is to Jack's, though. He will be coming to win, no doubt; it could make for a very interesting set-to. The Southern Area Title is no small feat for a fighter and is a gateway to bigger things, especially at Super Flyweight. These kind of fights are exactly what the belt is there for. The future is irrelevant for now, tomorrow the wait for Jack Hughes is over. No more frustration, just ten rounds to achieve something he’s lusted after for almost four years.

“It’s finally my time, it’s been a long, long, long time coming and it’ll mean everything to me when I win.”

Amen to that.

* Hughes 113lb/ Roberts 114lb

Southpaw Jab will be at tomorrow’s Goodwin Boxing show to report on all the fights taking place. Best of luck and good health to all the boxers involved


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