Maxi Hughes vs. Ryan Walsh
First Direct Arena in Leeds, England – 26 March 2022
Maxi Hughes will make the first defence of his IBO lightweight title when he goes up against Ryan Walsh at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on March 26.
Hughes (24-5-2, 5 KOs) puts his belt on the line against Walsh (27-3-2, 12 KOs) on the undercard of Kiko Martinez’s IBF featherweight title fight against Josh Warrington, live on DAZN.
The two fighters spoke to the media at a press conference on Friday, and while they were both respectful of one another, they each made it clear they’re confident of triumphing.
Hughes said: “I knew in the last fight I could change mine and my family’s life forever, and I’ll keep that mindset. I’m treating this like I’m the challenger and that I’ve got to go rip that title to make sure it stays and comes back to me.
“I said in the build up to Straffon that this is not just a one off. This is how I want to keep living for the rest of my boxing career. This is how I want to be from here on out, and I will approach everything with that mindset.
“Ryan is a great fighter, and I’m looking forward to this fight. I’ve boxed his brother Liam, and I’ll make sure that I’m victorious on March 26.”
Walsh said: “I’m beyond excited. The fight came by surprise as I was made mandatory for the British and I was happy about that, but then this came along and it was a no brainer.
“I have a lot of respect for Maxi and his team. We have some history, and it’s the most excited I’ve been for a fight and I’ve been in this game for 21 years.
“My oldest brother has been telling me to be a lightweight for three years at least, so nobody is happier than Michael to see me there. We don’t want excuses, I want to perform at my best, and at lightweight I feel I can.
“For sure, we know Maxi better than anybody. Liam fought him and beat him. The Cinderella Man is the perfect tag you can put on him. I thought he was done after he fought Liam. I’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose. We’re in his city, so there is no pressure on me. All the pressure rides on the champion.”
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