Gerard Hughes goes from Féile fan to Féile fighter this Friday night.
The Ballycastle man has secured a slot on this year’s Festival card and will fight at the Falls Park in just his fourth fight – less than a year on from turning professional.
It marks a massive turnaround from the last two Feile’s where the Dee Walsh-trained super bantamweight was in the crowd as a supporter.
“I’m buzzing to be on it,” he tells Irish-boxing.com. “I have been to the last two so to be fighting on it is amazing.
“Outside of the SSE it’s probably the biggest platform in Belfast to fight on,” he adds before revealing the excitement is catching.
“The support has been unreal for this one. a lot of my supports will not have experienced an atmosphere like it before so they’re all buzzing. I’m glad to be on such a platform in only my fourth fight.”
Hughes’s positive start has played a part in him making the jump from small hall to outdoor stadium fight night so soon. Although his new manager, Friday’s bill topper, Padraig McCrory played a part.
“Pody’s link with Jamie meant it was easy made,” he adds before sharing his delight at teaming up with the Conlan Boxing star.
“Pody’s been there done it, he came from the small hall right up to a world title. Not only that he’s built himself to be a fan favourite with the support he gets. Having someone like that who’s been there and done it can only benefit me.”
‘The Hammer’ is a stablemate and friend of Hughes but that doesn’t mean he can take it easy in camp, in fact, he points out it’s quite the opposite.
“It makes me push that bit harder,” he responds when asked what it’s like having a gym mate as a manager. “I know he’s watching so I work harder. I think your manager should be in the gym at times.”