The West

Celebrations on hold for new Commonwealth champ Browne
Lucas Browne detonates a big right on the jaw of Eric Martel Bahoeli. Pics: Steve Parkin/Hatton Promotions

Lucas Browne took a leaf out of his promoter Ricky Hatton's book as he survived a scare to become Commonwealth heavyweight champion.



Unbeaten "Big Daddy" made it 20 straight wins, 18 early, with a fifth-round knockout of Eric Martel Bahoeli in Sheffield, despite suffering a horrible cut on his left eyelid following an accidental clash of heads in the third.

Browne, who had floored the Canadian in the second, was oblivious to the seriousness of the cut when the ringside doctor inspected it immediately after the head clash.

But when the medic had a look again in the fourth, and a technical draw suddenly a real possibility, Browne chased an early finish and dropped his opponent for a second time.

Once the fight went into the fifth round, it was to be decided by the judges' cards if Browne's cut proved too troublesome to continue.

Lucas Browne and his team celebrate after the fight

But the 35-year-old Aussie took it out of the officials' hands by finishing the bout with another big right one minute, 26 seconds into round five.

“I like breaking people’s wills down, I’ve got the power to do it,” Browne said.

“I was pushing the pace because of the eye.

“I’m not silly to think I have the most talent out of everyone but I do hit like a mule. If I do hit you, it’s goodnight.”

Browne went straight to a Sheffield plastic surgeon after the fight and received 13 stitches - putting his celebrations at becoming the first Australian to win the belt since 1892 temporarily on hold.

Browne, who will be out for up to three months because of the injury, could make his first title defence on the undercard of the Tyson Fury-Dereck Chisora card in the UK in July.

Another possibility is Hatton promoting a show in Australia, possibly in conjunction with Brian Amatruda. That would depend on interest from Main Event.

A meeting with beaten world title challenger Alex Leapai is more likely to happen further down the road.

Things get natsy for the Canadian

Browne also won the World Boxing Council Eurasian Pacific Council title, which will assist his push to break into the WBC top 10.

Browne has fought most of his career out of Perth, although he moved back to Sydney for improved training in January.

Hatton, a world champion at light-welterweight and welterweight, regularly suffered from cuts early in his career, famously beating Jon Thaxton through a stream of claret to win the British title.

He also knocked out Paul Denton in Liverpool after suffering a nasty cut over his eye.

Hatton 12 months ago talked up Browne as a potential world champion.

Job done for "Big Daddy" Browne

The West Australian

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