The 24-year-old from Belfast stopped Mark Quon inside four rounds to win the title last year, and has been named in connection with British champion Scott Quigg and European ace Kiko Martinez.
However, Hughes has already fought for the title - losing narrowly to the tough Jamie Arthur - and represents a solid test for the undefeated Frampton.
But the current champion is not short on motivation.
"He's a tall, awkward southpaw, he may be hard to get to for a while," said Frampton. "But he's been saying a few things to reporters and online that I'm not worth the hype and so on.
"That's the sort of thing that motivates me so he's probably made his first mistake there as that will give me extra drive.
"I had a look at his record and there's nothing much to shout about there. He's a big lad and he's boxed at featherweight and super featherweight and above that as well. I don't know where that comment came from but there you go.
"This is a really big year and there are other fights out there besides Quigg and Martinez.
"But I'm totally focused on tonight - I've read things where he's said that he thinks we have overlooked him and are looking at fights beyond tonight, but that is not the case. Everything around the camp has been geared for him and I couldn't be in better shape."
The fight takes place at Bethnal Green's York Hall and Frampton is not concerned about fighting 'away' from home.
"It would have been great to have fought in Belfast but I've boxed here before and it's a great venue," said Frampton. "There's a lot of boxing fans in the area and they know their stuff so you are always guaranteed a good crowd.
"John Ryder is on the bill too and he's a big ticket seller and I'll have a lot here too, so I hope it is a sell-out and that there's a great atmosphere as it always gives you that extra push and we can put on a great show.
"It's great to be topping the bill, a massive opportunity to showcase my talents and it's a tough task."