On July 22, Daniel “Maximus” Hughes (26-5-2, 5 KOs), better known as Maxi Hughes, will face former unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. (20-2, 10 KOs). The bout will headline a card at the FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma, USA. ESPN, ESPN+, and ESPN Deportes will broadcast the event live from 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT onwards in the USA. Ahead of his clash with Kambosos Jr., Big Fight Weekend takes a look at the career of Hughes.
Fighting out of Rossington, Yorkshire, England, Hughes made his professional boxing debut on September 17, 2010, winning by points in a four-rounder. Within a year, he was 5-0 with all but one of his fights taking place in Doncaster, England. In March 2012, he drew with Ronnie Clark in a bout that saw Hughes cut in the second round due to an accidental clash of heads.
Following the first draw of his career, Hughes moved to six-rounders and won three in the span of six months. In April 2013, he challenged Scott Cardle for the vacant BBBofC Central Area lightweight title, losing on points. It was his first ever ten-rounder and it also wound up being the first loss of his career.
Hughes moves to super featherweight
Following the loss to Cardle, Hughes gradually made the move down in weight. He had five fights in a row in which his weight ranged from 129 lbs to 140.5 lbs before facing Martin J Ward for the first time in December 2014. Despite Ward being counted in the second round, the bout ended in a majority draw. The two had a rematch four months later. This time, Hughes retired at the end of fifth due to a badly damaged nose.
Hughes and Ward met for a third time in 2017, nearly two years after their second meeting. During that time, Hughes fought three times, winning all three bouts. One of those victories included a split decision win over then undefeated James Fryers in Belfast, the hometown of Fryers. Hughes was unable to keep that win streak going, however, as he proceeded to lose by unanimous decision to Ward, also losing the chance to claim the BBBofC British super featherweight title.
Hughes followed the loss with two wins before having his final fight at the weight class. In April 2018, he once again fought for the BBBofC British super featherweight title, this time against undefeated Sam Bowen. In the seventh, Hughes went to the canvas twice but was able to make it to the end of the round. A timeout was called just after the bell rang for the eighth to allow a doctor to inspect Hughes’ eye. The bout was stopped due to how badly his eye had become swollen.
Move back to lightweight and career resurgence
Following the loss to Bowen, Hughes moved back to lightweight in 2019, defeating the unbeaten Kieron McLaren via fourth round stoppage. In November of that year, he lost a ten-round unanimous decision to Liam Walsh. Following that loss, Hughes embarked on a seven-fight win streak that has impressed many and has led to a showdown with Kambosos on July 22.
Hughes began 2020 with a four-round points win on February 22. Six months later, he took on Jono Carroll. In what was considered an upset, Hughes defeated Carroll via unanimous decision. Two months after, he followed up with another upset win over Viktor Kotochigov in the UAE.
The winning did not stop in 2020. Hughes fought twice more in 2021, stopping Paul Hyland Jr. in eight rounds to become the BBBofC British lightweight champion and decisioning Jovanni Straffon over 12 by the end of the year.
2022 saw even more success for Hughes. He began with a unanimous decision over Ryan Walsh in March before following it up with a majority decision against former featherweight champion Kid Galahad in September.
The bout against Kambosos will Hughes’ first fight of 2023. Will he be able to carry on his incredible run, or, will Kambosos return to winning ways himself?