JOE Hughes accepts he lost his EBU European super-lightweight title fight with Spanish favourite Sandor Martin fair and square.

The Malmesbury-based talent lost by unanimous decision for the second time this year, though circumstances in Barcelona last Thursday proved far less controversial compared to Hughes’ defeat to Robbie Davies Jnr in Liverpool nine months ago.

Two of the fight’s three judges called the bout 119-109 in favour of home favourite Martin, with the third judge concluding his card 117-111.

Hughes gracefully accepted defeat, though revealed after the contest that he entered the ring feeling less than 100 per cent.

That aside, Hughes still felt he had enough power in the tank to upset the Spaniard – and therefore has no complaints or excuses to make surrounding his loss.

He said: “I won’t dwell on not feeling 100 per cent. I wouldn’t fight if I knew I wasn’t well enough to do a job. But, unfortunately, I couldn’t pull it off.

“I lost fair and square, though I thought it was a closer fight that how the judges marked it. But, I knew I’d have to win clearly to win over the judges.

“It was a poor performance from me, and Sandor (Martin) boxed well. I felt fine in the fight, but I couldn’t get going.

“I didn’t feel myself, I wasn’t at the races. I chose not to pull out, and I’m glad I went through with it.

“Sandor (Martin) was a tricky opponent, he was quite skilful and a slippery character.

“He was tricky to nail down and hit clean, it will be interesting to see what he does next.”

Regarding the future, Hughes isn’t yet sure what to expect from it.

One thing is for certain, though. The 29-year-old plans to take a mental break over the festive period before returning to training in the new year.

Having lost his EBU European super-lightweight belt to Davies Jnr in March, a scheduled fight against Lewis Ritson was called off in August.

Consequently, he has spent the majority of the year training at high intensity. So, some downtime will be very welcome.

He added: “I don’t know what the future holds, it’s up in the air a bit – I’m not really chasing anything at the moment.

“I’ll have a bit of a mental break from it all. I’ve been training pretty much all year, and it’s ended disappointingly.

“So I’ll clear my thoughts over Christmas and enjoy some relaxing family time where I won’t have to worry about my weight or the gym.”