A Fight For The Commonwealth Title - 26th April 2014.
On Saturday evening Lucas Browne will step into the ring on the Ponds Forge Arena in Sheffield with the weight and expectation of a country on his shoulders. He will be aiming to be the first Australian to win the Commonwealth Title for 122 years. A win would also provide a huge boost to Browne's standing within the game, currently rated #11 by The WBC and in the top 15 by The WBA and IBF, Ricky Hatton (lucas' promoter) believes a win would push Lucas into the top 5 and on the verge of a world title shot. No pressure then!!
Standing in his way is Eric Martel Bahoeli. Known as the hammer from Canada with a record of - won 10 (KO 7) + lost 3 (KO 2) + drawn 0 = 13. Bahoeli is a huge underdog according to the bookies for this fight. Some have him as more of a longshot than Leapai is against Klitschko. In his own words though Bahoeli says "I have been an underdog maybe 3 times before, so this is nothing new to me". He is ranked 48 in the world and 2nd, behind Stiverne in the Canadian rankings.
What Bahoeli perhaps lacks in ability/experience he makes up for with confidence. This is what he said to Hatton Promotions -"I think I will cause another upset, I know he [Browne] is a hard puncher because he has a good record, but I think I'm too fast for him. He's a very tough guy and so am I so I expect a hard fight, but I think my chances are much better than people are saying. I've had 11 weeks of training for this fight, which is more than I've had for any other fight, and I think Browne will be surprised by how fast and strong I am."
Lucas Brown is also confident going into this fight and hasn't ruled out the prospect of a decision, although that seems very unlikely - "I'm not a fan of judges' decisions, but I don't mind having to go the distance, 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."
Lucas has a record of won 19 (KO 17) + lost 0 (KO 0) + drawn 0 = 19 and is clearly being moved by his team towards a shot for the world title in the very near future. A fight I and many others would dearly love to see, before that there are a lot of other fights out there to keep himself in the public eye - Thompson is fighting Takam next, perhaps a fight against the winner in an eliminator? Or fight the winner of Fury Vs Chisora, perhaps even Stiverne or Arreola? Of course there is also Wilder to put into the mix...
Whilst like any fight especially a heavyweight fight Bahoeli has a chance, I don't think it is much of a chance and I would be very surprised if he managed to survive past 5 rounds against Browne.
A 5th round stoppage win for Lucas after a slight scare would be my outside bet, however I think Lucas will pass this stepping stone a lot earlier.
I wish them both well...