The Bellshill boxer fractured his hand and was forced to retire in the fourth round of his last outing against tough Ghanian Richard Commey back in September.
That defeat and injury were made even more painful by the fact the bout was Badger's first since losing his tilt at the Commonwealth title in seven gruelling rounds to world-ranked Belfast banger Carl Frampton.
But Hughes' promoter Paul Graham is adamant a move up to super-featherweight will make all the difference to the 24-year-old when he makes his final appearance of the year on Graham's promotion in Wishaw, at the Rivals Gym a fortnight tonight against Geordie rough-house Dougie Curran.
Graham said: "Starting the year with a loss to Carl Frampton was no disgrace for Kris and he was very unlucky to break his hand against Commey in his comeback bout.
"But Kris trained really hard and focused on doing his road work while he was waiting for the hand to heal and stayed in great shape.
"So when he did get back into sparring he really hit the ground running. Kris will now be fighting at super featherweight and I am sure that will make a great difference to him. The drain of having to constantly diet is something he no longer has to worry about and as a result he has much more energy in training.
"Curran is no walkover and will come to spoil the party, but I know Kris will have other ideas. At 24, Kris still has his best years to come, but it is vital he ends 2012 with a win that will help him look forward and not worry about the past."
Tickets are priced £30 and available by calling 01698 338 888 or from the fighters direct. Doors open at 6.30pm with the first bell at 7pm.