Ricky Little is coming home to defend his Southern Area super-flyweight championship.

Promoter Steve Bendall has announced the 28-year-old will defend his belt in a rematch against Jack Hughes at Southampton Central Hall on Saturday, October 5.

Little captured the vacant belt with a 10-round points win over Hughes at the York Hall last December – and says he is “buzzing” to make his first defence at home.

It is two years since Little boxed in Southampton, a points win over Patrik Bartos at the Novotel, and much has changed since then.

He said: “I lost to a journeyman (Sergey Tasimov) and knew things had to change.

“I was running myself into the ground.

“I had a cafe and a couple of burger vans and decided to sell the cafe and chase my dream of fighting for the British title.

“I wouldn’t stop until it’s happened. It’s a realistic goal now I’m training full time. I can run a cafe when I’m 50, but I can’t box when I’m 50. The burger vans are still in the yard ready for when I quit boxing.”

The British title is currently vacant and Little says the way he’s progressing under trainer Paul Dyer and manager Mo Prior, he could get a shot at the belt in the near future.

“I have come on so much since my last fight in Southampton,” he said. “I’m 100 times better. I have even come on since my last fight. I’m always either training or watching boxing on You Tube.”

Little promises to show his improvement against Hughes, a 27-year-old from Greenford.

The first time they boxed, Little was a 96-94 points winner and he believes that now he knows how to pace a 10-round fight, a stoppage is possible in the rematch.

He said: “It was a big step up for me. I had only done four rounds before and it was in the back of my mind that I didn’t want to burn myself out. I was holding myself back. I had that doubt: ‘Can I get through the 10 rounds ?’ “I remember sitting on my stool and seeing that round nine was next and I still had plenty left in the tank. I could have done 12 rounds. Now I’ve done the 10 rounds I know I can up my workrate earlier in the fight and maybe get the stoppage.”