IT would be a fitting case of better late than never if Trent Broadhurst lifts the WBA light heavyweight title.
Long touted as the future of Australian boxing, the Slacks Creek resident now has the opportunity to usher in a golden era for Australian boxing overnight in Monaco when he challenges dynamic Russian striker Dmitry Bivol for his world championship at the Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin in Monte Carlo.
With WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn seen as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the country, Broadhurst (20-1, 12 KOs) has the opportunity to be regarded as the outright second best if he can upset the highly favoured Bivol (11-0, 9 KOs), whom iconic American broadcaster HBO see as the second coming of Gennady Golovkin.
Relatively unchallenged in a brief professional career that is yet to hit three full years, the Kyrgyzstan-born Bivol is hoping to reign over a stacked light heavyweight division, which has seen new life following the retirement of consensus leader and lineal champion Andre Ward.
After an arduous tenure in the sport, the opportunity that awaits doesn’t get much bigger for Broadhurst.
“It’s been a long hard road,” he said in an interview with Aus-Boxing. “I’ve now been in this sport for nineteen years – and this is what we aim for as fighters – to finally have this opportunity it’s just something special to motivate me to push that little bit further.”
“I’ve copped some bad hand injuries; I was out about a year-and-a-half both times and I had a broken rib earlier on this year. It just devastates you. When the doctor tells you, you’re going to be out for a year, it literally just devastates you and brings you right back down.”
“But you eventually get back into the gym again and start working at it and begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Fighters are typically the first to offer a feel-good story ahead of career milestones, such as the title attempt that Broadhurst has been afforded. However, to the surprise of many, the talented Queenslander gives a refreshingly honest narrative when discussing the biggest camp of his career.
“Obviously, the preparation hasn’t been ideal,” he admitted. “I haven’t fought since February – and I’m coming off an injury – I’ve had eight weeks notice for this fight. It’s not ideal, but you are never going to turn down a world title fight. It doesn’t matter whom it is against or where you are in your career.”
“You can’t say no, these opportunities don’t present themselves everyday. I’ve thrown everything at these last seven weeks of camp. I’ve really pushed myself to that next level. I’m fit and ready to go.”
“This is for a legitimate world title,” he continued. “Jeff Horn had the opportunity to fight for his world title in front of his own country – I’m not going to have that advantage – I have to go about my fight the hard way. It’s a lot harder to win away from home.”
If Bivol is everything that he is promised to be, Broadhurst, 29, should be in for the fight of his life. The Saint Petersburg-based firebrand has been built for the world title stance that he currently boasts. The platform has been engineered for him to excel, but Broadhurst is hell-bent on derailing those plans.
“This guy has just been steam rolling through everyone that has been put in front of him,” he declared. “He has done everything that has been asked of him up until this point – but no disrespect to the guys he’s been fighting – they aren’t me. They don’t bring what I bring to the ring.”
“In saying that though, he is a very good boxer and has a good solid amateur background. This fight has got me excited because of that chess match style he is going to bring for the first four rounds. After that I know it’s going to take some real soul searching to dig in and win that world title.”
“I’ve got to be focused. Focused on the game plan and stay in there and fight every second of every round. I think nearly everyone of his knockouts have come in around the fourth round, that’s something I’m every aware of. Since I have turned professional, this is a fight I have always wanted.”
“No disrespect to the guys I have fought, but they haven’t brought the best out of me. They haven’t even come close to bringing the best out of me. I need someone like this guy to put the fear into me, to push me and bring the best out of me. That’s what’s got me excited.”
Photo: Louie Abigail/Photography by Rockfingrz