Maxi Hughes: IBO lightweight champion hopes he has quit day job for good after signing sponsorship deal

MAXI HUGHES hopes he has put away his paintbrushes for good after he secured a one-year sponsorship deal to enable him to pursue boxing on a full-time basis.

FEELING CHAMPION: Maxi Hughes won the IBO lightweight title at Headingley last month. Picture: Getty Images.

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Headingley IBO title victory shows boxer Maxi Hughes was right to return to the ...

The 31-year-old from Rossington in Doncaster was back on the building site nine days after being crowned IBO lightweight champion at Headingley on September 4.

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He produced a faultless display to dethrone Mexican Jovanni Straffon but throughout his 31-fight professional career, he has never been able to dedicate all his attention to the sport.

The Yorkshire-born boxer worked as a painter and decorator but was approached with a one-year sponsorship deal after he tweeted about his return to the building site and does not plan on going back to the day job even when his one-year sponsorship ends.

“Once I have started, I can’t see myself going back on the building site, especially while I am still boxing,” he said.

“With the fight purses I am going to be getting, I should be alright once that sponsorship ends. Hopefully I can pick up more sponsors along the way, it will all be helpful. I will be sensible with the money I do get so I can remain full time.

“When retire I still want to work in boxing, it can still give me a living. Even if it is as a trainer, manager or pundit.

BOXING CLEVER: Maxi Hughes was dominant in his title-winning fight against Jovanni Straffon. Picture: Getty Images.

“I have done it half my life so it is about using my knowledge and experience to get a job after I retire. It is something I want to stay involved in.”

He added: “I was approached about sponsorship a week after my fight, it came about after I put the tweet out about having to go back to work.

“I got approached about being able to go full time for at least a year. I snapped it up straightaway, I am excited to see what is next.”

Being able to leave behind his day job has come at the perfect time for Hughes, who became a father for the second time earlier this month.

He continued: “I haven’t been flat out in the gym at the minute because my wife and I just had the birth of our second daughter last week. So I have been spending a bit of time at home and it is nice to know I don’t have to come back to work and train after that.”

Of what the sponsorship will do for his day-to-day life, Hughes continued: “I can find an even better balance with training and family life, it will just make everything easier.”

The Doncaster fighter has his eye on the other world champions within the lightweight division. All of those belt holders are currently from and based in the United States of America. If

Hughes’s promotional team can agree a fight, it is more than likely going to take place in the USA.

“I think I am coming into my peak mentally and physically, more so mentally. I have always been in good shape but a big part of what I was lacking was the mental side of things,” said Hughes.

“But with age comes maturity and my experience as well has helped me feel as good as I am.

“Hopefully I can fulfill my dream to go to America and fight one of the other four world champions. That is what my team are working on.”