Home Boxing News Maxi Hughes primed to spring upset on former world champion George Kambosos...

Maxi Hughes primed to spring upset on former world champion George Kambosos Jr

Maxi Hughes. Photo credit: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

British lightweight contender Maxi Hughes 26-5-2 (5) believes he is getting former unified 135-pound champion George ‘Ferocious’ Kambosos Jr 20-2 (10) at exactly the right time following the Australian’s back-to-back losses to reigning undisputed champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney 30-0 (15) last year.

Hughes and Kambosos will come to blows over 12 rounds at the Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma on Saturday night.

For Kambosos, 30, it is a chance to win his first bout since dethroning WBA, WBO and IBF champion Teofimo Lopez 19-1 (13) by split decision in New York more than two-and-a-half years ago.

For 33-year-old southpaw Hughes, who is coming off seven straight victories in including a majority decision victory over former IBF featherweight champion Kid Galahad in his last outing in September, it is an opportunity to prove he can compete at the elite level.

“I feel like I’m getting George at the right time,” Hughes told Sporting News.

“I chose this fight. I reached out to him and it is a fight that I wanted. I’m very confident in myself.

“He’s got those demons to exorcise – he’s coming off two back-to-back losses and in 24 rounds he barely won one.

“He’ll tell you he hasn’t (got demons) because he’s very egotistical and a very proud man but when he’s not got his team around him and he’s in bed alone, he’s got to battle those demons.

“He won’t have his team around him to blow smoke up his backside and it’s the same on fight night; it’s just me and him in there.”

The fight is billed and an IBF world title eliminator. The New Jersey-based sanctioning body ranks Kambosos at number eight and Hughes at number nine at lightweight.

If American Haney, 24, vacates his titles to campaign at junior welterweight as is widely expected, the winner of Kambosos-Hughes will be in a position to face number one contender Gustavo ‘El Electrico’ Lemos 28-0 (18) of Argentina for the vacant title in their very next bout.

Hughes credit his current purple patch of form to his maturity as a boxer and a person.

“It’s a mix of everything. Not just maturity in boxing but maturity in life,” Hughes said.

“I’m 33 now and I’ve been a professional for 13 years. I’ve got good reliance but it doesn’t come easy. Not everyone who sticks in at boxing this long has success. You have to have a certain mindset as well as the ability.

“I put my success down to having a good stable house. I’ve got a good wife, a good family and friends, and a good team around me.

“I’m using my early career losses as a positive because they’re paying off in terms of experience. And I live the life as well. I stay in the gym all the time.”