Hughes vs Johnson Predictions: Nina the pick on points

 | 10th May | 

3 mins read

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WBA bantamweight champion Nina Hughes takes on Cherneka Johnson this Saturday, May 11. The pair will clash at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia on the undercard of Vasiliy Lomachenko vs George Kambosos Jnr. Sky Sports Action will televise the card. Here are my Hughes vs Johnson predictions ahead of an exciting world title collision.

Hughes vs Johnson Tips

  • Hughes on points @ 8/13 
  • Hughes to win @ 4/9

Johnson is in the unusual position of challenging a reigning world champion while enjoying home advantage. Usually, the incumbent is more likely to defend the title on home turf, or at least at a neutral venue. But Essex’s Hughes is flying Down Under to fight Johnson in front of her home fans.

Hughes has only travelled abroad once in her professional career. She won the WBA title from Jamie Mitchell in Dubai in 2022. Perhaps the ambitious 41-year-old will take that as a good omen as she takes on another overseas challenge.

The champion has not had the traditional boxing journey. A rising amateur who was part of the Team GB set-up in the 2000s, Hughes left the sport after missing out on an Olympic place to soon-to-be-superstar Nicola Adams. That sliding doors moment must have stung, particularly as Adams would go on to be Britain’s first-ever female boxing gold medalist. 

Hughes stepped away from the sport for a decade, getting married and raising her two children. Then, inspired by the increasing coverage and popularity of the women’s sport, she chose to turn professional at the age of 39.

Hughes is 6-0 since her 2021 debut. After winning the Commonwealth super bantamweight title she stepped up to world level at bantamweight. After beating Mitchell in Dubai, she defended the WBA title against Katie Healy last June. A win via unanimous decision helped set up this weekend’s bout.

Johnson knows all about world title boxing. Until her last bout, the New Zealand-born Australian was the reigning IBF super bantamweight queen. Johnson lost that title to Londoner Ellie Scotney last time out. Now ‘Sugar Neekz’ looks to claim championship gold at a second weight-class, and put the Scotney defeat in her rearview mirror.

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After suffering that defeat at the Wembley Arena, Johnson will be glad to be fighting at home for this one. The former Matchroom fighter hooked up with Hall of Fame promoter Lou DiBella in January he has delivered here. Straight back into world title action with the backing of thousands of Aussies. 

For Hughes, this is a tough night’s work. But I believe she is ready. She’s a young 41, having only turned over in 2021 after a long break. The composed Grays-born boxer is unlikely to be fazed by the atmosphere. Hughes strikes me as a fighter on a mission. Boxing owes her after she missed out on the Olympics and she has come to collect.

This will be competitive and I think it will go the full distance. Johnson is a worthy, world-level challenger. She has never been stopped in two career defeats. Hughes has halted two of her six foes but I don’t think she’ll get the knockout here. This one is going all the way and should be thoroughly engaging for the distance.

I feel like Hughes will triumph over the course of that distance. She is 8/13 to notch a points decision. Johnson has a tendency to start strong and I think we’ll see that here, roared on by a few thousand of her nearest and dearest. But Hughes has the staying power to turn around any early deficit and get the job done in 10 rounds.

You can find all our latest boxing tips and analysis at our Betfred Insights Boxing page 

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