A YOUNG British boxer was tragically found dead during a boys' holiday to a Greek party island.

William Hughes, 20, died on the island of Corfu while celebrating the end of his first year at university.

The promising fighter - a protegee of former World Champion Enzo Maccarinelli - was tipped to rise through the ranks of amateur boxing while also studying finance at Queen Mary University of London.

Ex pro-boxer Mr Maccarinelli said he had taken William under his wing since the age of nine at Bonymaen ABC boxing gym in Swansea.

The former world champion, who held the WBO cruiserweight title from 2006 to 2008, said: "He was a lovely boy - he was a credit to his family.

"He was a tremendously talented kid and had everything going for him.

"He is going to be a great loss."

Maccarinelli wrote on Twitter: "Absolutely heartbroken my little protege Will Hughes passed away today words can’t describe what the young man meant to me I loved him like family rest in peace Will."

Friend Christine Rowe - who supported William at a recent boxing event in Sunderland - said on Facebook: "So very sad. Beautiful, gorgeous laddie. RIP sweet William.

"Whatever your torment was you’re at peace now little darling. But not your loved ones. Tragic."

School friend Georgia Thomas, 19, said: "He was once of the nicest boys I have ever come across and he always knew how to make anybody laugh.

"I will cherish all the memories I have with him forever. He will be missed.

"He always put others before himself and he could make friends with anybody he always lit up the room.

"I think he was just on a boys' holiday but I was so crushed when I found out I just burst into tears."

William, from Mumbles in Swansea, was described by his former school as an "exceptionally talented sportsman" as well as being successful with his studies.

A spokesman for Bishop Vaughan Catholic School said: "He and his family have been a part of the Bishop Vaughan community since 2005, and in his time here all knew William to be an exceptionally talented sportsman as well as being talented academically.

"His warm and gentle character meant that he had many friends and they, the staff and the Governors all hold his family in their thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time."

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have been approached for a statement.