Maxi Hughes Was Deported Days Before William Zepeda Fight

Throughout fight week, Maxi Hughes, in advance of Saturday’s light-weight bout with William Zepeda, firmly insisted that training school was simply great. He kept a cover on what he had actually been through over the previous 2 weeks, heading into the most significant night of his life.

Hughes flew from London Heathrow to the U.S. on his birthday – Monday, March 4 – and after flying for 11 hours, he quickly discovered himself on an airplane back to the U.K., due to visa problems.

Hughes felt he would be great, having actually boxed George Kambosos in Oklahoma last July. But he was pulled into a workplace upon landing in Las Vegas and after that put directly on a flight back home, with the rest of his group awaiting him in arrivals back in the U.S.

Hughes kept all of it peaceful throughout fight week, as he did not wish to offer Zepeda’s group self-confidence ahead of the fight.

“I flew out on my birthday – last Monday, March 4 – and in Oklahoma we were there for 2 weeks,” Hughes stated. “We had a health club lined up, we had sparring partners over here [in Las Vegas] to complete my recently of training.”

When working out the agreement for the Zepeda fight, Hughes, 34, had actually asked attorneys whether he was still okay to fight on his previous ESTA (a U.S. Department of Homeland Security travel permission) from the Kambosos fight or if he would require another visa.

Asked if he was taking a trip for organization or satisfaction, Hughes showed the previous and was then accompanied into a space to browse his files.

“The male at the desk stated, ‘You’ve got the incorrect visa. You’re going directly back on that aircraft you began,’” Hughes stated.

“I stated, ‘You’re joking.’”

“He stated, ‘You’ve got to return on that aircraft. You’re being deported.’”

“Can’t you speak with an attorney?”

“He stated, ‘No, offer me your cellular phone.’”

Hughes’ passport and phone were taken, and he was browsed in a cell. “You’d believe I was smuggling drugs or something,” he stated.

“I had an 11-hour flight, I had an hour in Las Vegas airport, then I was back on the aircraft.

“They couldn’t let me have my phone, so I couldn’t let anybody understand. I had [trainer] Sean [O’Hagan] and the rest of the group awaiting me. I might hear my phone calling like mad behind the desk, and I resembled, ‘Look, that’s my group. Can you let me speak with them?’”

“No, you can telephone them when you return on the aircraft,” Hughes was informed.

“The airline company supervisor might see I’d lost my head,” Hughes stated. “I was in fact in tears when I got on the aircraft and they accompanied me on, and I was believing, ‘My dream’s over – it’s simply been removed from me.’ But I resembled, ‘Regroup, regroup. I’ll purchase the wifi bundle on the aircraft, I’ll email everyone and we can attempt and get this fixed.’

“And I asked the air person hosting what the wifi password was, and she stated, ‘I’m sorry, for this flight our wifi is down.’

“I handled to get a telephone call to Sean, offer him the hotel info, and I stated, ‘Look, I’ve been deported. You arrive, we’ll get it arranged.’

“Then I handled to telephone my other half. I believe it was 6 a.m. U.K. time, so I stated, ‘Look, I’ve been deported, I require you to phone [promoter] Lou [DiBella], describe what’s occurred. At this point, she remained in tears. It made me in more tears, and after that I was offline for another 10 hours.”

Hughes flew back to Heathrow, got on the phone, looked into a hotel by the airport, began dealing with migration attorneys and attempted to reanimate his dream. He required a consultation at a U.S. embassy, and he waited.

“Luckily, I kept my head,” Hughes stated. “I had the ability to utilize the physical fitness health club in the hotel, remained expert in my diet plan, consumed tidy, and there were times when I believed, ‘F*** this, I’m getting the next train home, we’ll get the fight delayed, this is not perfect preparation. I simply wish to see my other half and kids and shut the door on the world.’”

Nine days before fight night, Hughes lastly saw his luck turn.

“The phone was calling continuously, and the next thing was, I got a telephone call on Thursday stating, ‘We’ve got you an [embassy] consultation Friday early morning in Belfast, at 9 in the early morning, so obtain to the airport. You’re on the next flight to Belfast. When you arrive, sound us due to the fact that we’ve got to prepare you for this interview you’ve got.’”

A couple of years back, Hughes had actually remained in Belfast sparring James Tennyson, so he called Tony Dunlop of the Belfast Kronk, which Thursday night – with his group in Vegas – Hughes handled to do some boxing training in Northern Ireland.

Eight days in advance of the Zepeda fight, on Friday early morning, Hughes went to the U.S. embassy to attempt to get his visa set up so that he might fly into Vegas that Saturday – with just a week to get settled.

“They stated, ‘Leave it with us, linger and you can select it up today,’” Hughes stated.

He was informed the procedure was looking excellent, however as the day endured, Hughes didn’t hear anything back. The embassy was because of close at 4.30 p.m. for the weekend, so at 3 p.m. he returned.

“They were dealing with it, and after that I saw they were calling me, and I was delighted,” he stated.

“No, sorry,” Hughes was informed. “Unfortunately the device’s not working, we can’t get it done.”

“And I broke down weeping once again,” he stated, “‘Oh shit, what am I going to do now?’

“They stated they may be able to get it done Monday, due to the fact that they don’t work weekends. I talked to Tony once again. And I’d been through a lot, I didn’t believe there was anymore that might fail – there was – however I was staying favorable.

“Fortunately, Tony trained me [over the weekend],” Hughes continued. “He even set up some short-notice sparring at another health club, in Belfast. I remained expert. It was difficult once again. Every number of hours, I resembled, ‘Go home, get the fight delayed, definitely everybody will comprehend – visa problems and all that.’

“My other half resembled, ‘Stay there up until Monday, go to the embassy Monday, and ideally they’ll get your passport.’ And they lastly did.

“I appeared on Monday early morning, got my passport and after that I needed to take a trip down to Dublin for the worldwide flights.”

So Hughes ran out of the embassy, back to the hotel, got his bags and leapt in an Uber. While he remained in the vehicle, a flight was scheduled. By the time he got to the airport, he had an hour to sign in, make it through security and get on the aircraft.

Once in Dublin airport, Hughes was advised to enter into another back space, where he once again began to think of the worst.

“At least it’s just Dublin,” he remembered believing. “It’s a 40-minute aircraft trip and I’m back home. But I waited, and due to the fact that it was on the system that I had actually just recently been deported, I believe they simply wished to examine the information.”

Then they offered Hughes his passport back.

“F*****g hell, I’m totally free,” he stated. “Not the perfect preparation.”

Yet throughout, Hughes remained concentrated on the task at hand and did his best not to get thwarted.

He understood he was up against it and was not anticipated to win, however the travel experience included a stubbornness to his frame of mind ahead of his huge test in Las Vegas.

“What I’ve simply needed to go through, I feel currently I’m psychologically strong for it,” Hughes stated. “[Zepeda] can’t put me through what I’ve simply gone through. I’m prepared now. Now I’m here, back with my group, whatever’s excellent, my mind is excellent, and I’m here prepared to do a task on Saturday.”


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