Maxi Hughes finally made it back to the world title stage with a Unanimous decision over Jovanni Straffon to claim the Vacant IBO lightweight title on Saturday night in Mauricio Lara Vs Josh Warrington Rematch fight card at the Emerald Headingley Stadium in Leeds.
Hughes, whose career was spiralling down is finally gaining some grounds again. Hughes had to bounce back from two upset loses, first in the hands of Jono Carroll and again in the hands of unbeaten Kazakh Viktor Kotochigov. Hughes bounced back with a victory over Paul Hyland to win the British title.
The IBO lightweight title might not be significant at the moment but the win definitely puts the 31 year old in the mix for some good fights especially in a deep division, where the best avoid fighting the best.
Jovanni Straffon was able to knockout James Tennyson in his last out and possibly expected an engaging opponent but Hughes fought on the back foot and stayed clear of all the incomings from Straffon. Jovanni made good use of his hard jab and only breezed in an out of Straffon’s defence and threw the Mexican off balance.
Straffon was so frustrated by Hughes that towards the end of the third round, the Mexican couldn’t help but beckon on Hughes to engage and the Brit complied in the fourth and was able to connect his left hand more and tricked his opponent into trying to hit and miss.
Hughes connected a big right early in the fifth round that rocked and wobbled Straffon and he followed up with punches but the Mexican refused to visit the canvas. Hughes looked tired and gassed out from his efforts. Hughes kept the pressure on in the sixth round landing combinations to the head and body.
Hughes had clearly won the first half of the fight and calmly fought through the remainder of the fight. Straffon tried landing some huge shots and charged in but was forced to miss. Straffon tried hard and almost fell on his own feet trying to land but was opened himself to counters.
Howard Foster and Leszek Jankowiak both scored the fight for Hughes 120 – 117 and Pawel Kardyni by 119-109.
Mauricio Lara Vs Josh Warrington Full Fight Card Results