LUCAS Browne is a throwback to a gone era. Name the time, name the opponent and name the place – he just wants to fight. Ahead of the biggest fight of his professional career, where he attempts to become the first Australian in over a hundred years to lift the Commonwealth heavyweight title, Browne talks about the fight as if it is just another night at the office.
“For me, this fight means I can pay my rent,” said Browne in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing. “Although it’s an achievement and I’m happy to be doing something like this, but at the moment, I’m more concerned with paying my rent and keeping a roof over my head.”
Browne (19-0, 17 KOs), 35, will face Canadian Eric Martel Bahoeli (10-3, 7 KOs) as the headline fight on an event promoted by Hatton Promotions in Sheffield, United Kingdom. While Bahoeli, 32, isn’t a recognized name in the heavyweight division, he should provide Browne with a stern test ahead of what Browne and his team hope will be a signature year in 2014.
“I’m not going to pretend that I’m one of the best boxers in the world,” said Browne. “But I am one of the hardest hitters in the world and at this stage people are taking notice.”
A handful of regarded heavyweight contenders are taking notice of Browne, including undefeated British contender Tyson Fury and hard-hitting American sensation Deontay Wilder.
Fury is one of the more enigmatic characters in boxing, who is brash and has spoken loudly of his desire to fight Browne at some point. The opportunity came up for Browne to face Fury in February, when Fury’s opponent Gonzalo Omar Bastille withdrew ill – Browne declined citing short notice, but is interested in the opportunity.
“There’s no way I would take a fight like that with a weeks notice and give him all the advantage,” said Browne of a fight with Fury. “I’ve just turned thirty-five and I realize that I’ve got a short amount of time to do what I need to do, so every fight counts.”
For all intents and purposes, seems willing to fight any opponent offered to me. Whether it be Fury or Wilder – it doesn’t really seem to matter.
“Fury is tall and awkward which is why he has had success so far, whereas Wilder is explosive but hasn’t been tested at this point. I think if I get the chance to land a nice flush right hand on either of them it’s lights out.”
British boxing icon Ricky Hatton and his company Hatton Promotions – who promote Browne – have expertly guided a handful of prospects and turned them into world title contender, just ask WBA super bantamweight titlist Scott Quigg or two-time middleweight title challenger Martin Murray. Although both have since moved on and signed with leading British promoter Matchroom Sport, they both were guided into lucrative positions by Hatton.
Speaking to Browne on the guidance of his career, he seems to genuinely understand that with an international promoter behind him, the potential is seemingly endless.
“It’s been great getting the exposure and international recognition from signing with someone like Hatton Promotions. It’s something that just can’t be done in Australia.”
The attention come April 27th, will be equally spread between Browne and rival Australian heavyweight Alex Leapai, who will challenge Wladimir Klitschko only an hour or so after Browne faces Bahoeli. While Australia has a whole will support both fighters, it goes without saying the boxing public have at least one eye on a clash between Browne and Leapai.
“I’ve always wanted to fight Alex but we both have our own paths at the moment and we will no doubt cross each other at some point,” explained Browne on Leapai. “Otherwise, it’s the world scene for sure. The UK and the US are where the bigger fights and bigger money is right now.”
“I’m happy for Alex and his management have done an exceptional job getting him to where he is. I think he will be outmatched in this one, but almost everyone would be.”
Photo: Louie Abigail/Photography by Rockfingrz