Maxi Hughes’ rich vein of form continued as he dropped and outpointed the previously unbeaten Viktor Kotochigov at Caesars Bluewaters in Dubai on Friday night.
The judges’ scores were 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94.
Lightweight Hughes, who upset former IBF title challenger Jono Carroll in August, continued his improbable run against the fancied Kotochigov, wobbling him in the second and scoring a knockdown with a left uppercut in the third stanza.
The Kazakh was under heavy fire at the end of that round, but was fortunate the referee mistook the 10 second warning for the bell and that gave Kotochigov the respite he needed to survive.
Kotochigov (12-1, 5 KOs) rallied and bulled the Yorkshireman around the ring in the sixth before rocking him with a hefty right hand. But southpaw Hughes (22-5-2, 4 KOs) was back in the ascendancy in the eighth with his stiff left-hand work as Kotochigov laboured with a swollen left eye. The canny Hughes boxed coolly on the back foot over the last two rounds to cement another fine victory.
With the Covid-19 Pandemic wiping out much of 2020’s boxing schedule, the livewire Hughes has proved one of the stories of the fighting year.
Main image: MTK Global.