Doncaster fighter’s big Sheffield challenge

Maxi Hughes in a previous contest at iceSheffield
Maxi Hughes in a previous contest at iceSheffield

When you are preparing to fight a former world title contender, after just 13 professional bouts, you need as much advice as you can get.

And Maxi Hughes has certainly had some expert tuition before his 10-round International Master title fight with Ghana’s Joseph Laryea, at iceSheffield on Friday.

Hughes, from Rossington, didn’t have to go far, either. He has been sparring with Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell, the WBA World bantamweight title champion.

Hughes is rated seventh in the country at super feather and a win will put him in the mix with bigger names.

Promoter Dave Coldwell said: “Laryea has boxed at world level so this is a major step up for Maxi. He trans with Gary Lockett in Wales, (Denaby’s) David Hulley and has been and sparring well with Jamie. I think Maxi will raise a few eyebrows in this one.”

Laryea, at 29, hasn’t boxed for a year because of promotional issues - his last outing was a first round defeat at the StubHub centre in Los Angeles - scene of Kell Brook’s IBF conquest. In 2011, he went seven rounds with Ricky Burns for the WBO title.

Coldwell’s show has 11 bouts - and one of the biggest spectacles could be the Jerome Wilson v Serge Ambomo re-match.

The first fight was epic: “I can’t wait for that one; I’d pay to watch that alone” said Coldwell.

It might be the last outing for Shiregreen’s Dave Fidler. At 36 he intends to wrap up his 10-fight light middleweight career, against Northern Ireland’s Damian Taggart.

In some respects that is a pity - as the many would have liked to have seen a re-match with Lee Noble.

Barnsley’s Noble outpointed the Sheffielder to the International Masters light-middleweight at iceSheffield in February, inflicting Fidler’s first defeat.