ECCLESTON Park kickboxer Rachel Hughes says having confidence in her ability will be key ahead of her fight for the English title this month.

The 21-year-old former Rainhill High School pupil faces Vicky Caven at the Kingsway Leisure Centre on August 30 in a fight for the national crown.

Hughes is undefeated in her last three fights and has experienced the joy of becoming North West champion after defeating Manchester ‘s Gabby Naughton at Haydock Park.

And she is now raring to get back into action after a break from the sport.

Hughes said: “I am really looking forward to getting back into the ring after having a few months off, and I want to put on a good show for everyone who is coming to support me.

“In my preparation there have been ups and downs. But I have to trust my coach John Hale and ensure the work we do will be enough to get me through.

“I am trying mainly to work on my attitude and confidence. I need to convince myself that I deserve it and can do it.

“I do not really know too much about Vicky. I am trying to focus on myself rather than who may or may not be getting into the ring with me.”

As a child, Hughes was involved with Thai boxing. She started training and fighting regularly as a kickboxer in 2011. Winning the regional title has inspired her to chase more success.

She said: “It was great to win my first belt, and it definitely makes me want to start a collection.

“The fight was a rematch against Gabby, who I had beaten on a points decision in my previous fight.

“So it was important to prove that I deserved the win and could be the better fighter on more than one occasion.

“I was shocked at first that I would be fighting for a title, and I am shocked this time around.

“But I am taking that as John having the faith in me that I should be fighting at that level.

“Now I really want to prove him right.

“Winning the English title would be amazing.

“I have never really had a lot of confidence in my ability, so I really want to prove to myself that I can do it.”