One of this area’s brightest young boxing talents is ready to put his skills to the test in the professional ring.
Jay Hughes has left the amateur ranks behind him at the age of just 18 to turn pro with Peterlee trainer, David Binns.
Since he has turned pro, he’s a whole new lad, with new incentives, new targetsDAVID BINNS
Hughes will make his debut next Saturday at Houghton, where he boxes on the undercard of unbeaten Hartlepool star Tommy Ward’s British super-bantamweight title eliminator with Robbie Turley, from Wales.
The teenager, from Trimdon but now living in Crimdon, has joined the pro game relatively early – without any senior amateur contests – but Binns says he is ready for the challenge.
“Jay is a young lad who has done well on the amateurs but it got to a point when he felt he wanted a change,” Binns told SportMail.
“Since he has turned pro, he’s a whole new lad, with new incentives, new targets.
“He’s had a real spring in his step since he did it.
“There was a time I might have thought ‘wait until you get a bit more age and experience under your belt’ but looking at it now I think he’s done the right thing.
“I’m not sure sticking around to fight in the ABA Championships would necessarily benefit his prospects as a professional boxer.”
Hughes boxed for Binns at the East Durham Academy, having started off with South Durham ABC in Fishburn.
“He started with Jeff Saunders at South Durham and he joined us at the East Durham Academy three or four years ago,” added Binns, who works across the amateur and pro games.
“He’s done trials with England and was highly regarded and he scored good marks when I got the feedback but there was nothing further on the international front.
“But now we’re just looking ahead to his pro debut.”