LUCAS Browne is hoping Sheffield fight fans get behind him when he faces Eric Martel Bahoeli next Saturday, despite him defeating one of the city’s favourite sons.
Browne, 35, set up his Commonwealth heavyweight shot by stopping the Steel City’s own Richard Towers in Hull last November, but believes he’ll have the support of the crowd at the Ponds Forge Arena.
The Aussie spent some time sparring at the famous Ingle gym in Wincobank during the summer of 2012 and has great amount of affection for Sheffield.
“The UK fans have always been awesome. They have always given me a warm welcome and I’ve very grateful for that,” Lucas, 19-0 (17 KOs), said.
“I didn’t spend too long in Sheffield, but I like the city and I found the people very friendly. I hope I can give them a performance to remember.” Browne continued. “Obviously, I beat Richard Towers, but we’ve remained friends and I don’t any of his fans bear a grudge against me. I hope as many people come out as possible and support me.”
Between them, Lucas and Bahoeli have scored 24 knockouts in just 32 fights so the conventional thinking is that their clash will end inside the distance.
However, Lucas says he’s more than happy to go 12 rounds with the tough French-Canadian if he has to.
“I’m not a fan of judges’ decisions, but I don’t mind having to go the distance,” he said. “I don’t go looking for knockouts, but this is heavyweight boxing and I can win a fight with one punch.
“I know Bahoeli is a big boy who likes to come forward and brawl. I’m not planning on giving him the chance to make it his fight, though.”
The show’s chief supporting contest sees Kazakhstan’s Zhanat Zhakiyanov challenge European bantamweight champion Karim Guerfi, while Sheffield’s own Adam Etches faces Felipe De La Paz Teniente for the vacant WBC youth middleweight crown.
Also starring will be Ricky Hatton-trained prospects Adam Little and Kirill Relikh as well as Scott Jenkins, Leo D’Erlanger, Kash Ali and Dave Howe.
The show is being televised in the UK by BoxNation (Sky Ch.437 HD 490 and Virgin 546), in France via L’Equipe 21 TV and in Australia (Foxtel Ch.511), Pacific regions and Asia on Eurosport.
Words: Press Release
Photo: Brand Hatton