The West

Big Daddy faces biggest test
Lucas Browne. Pic: Steve Parkin

Big-punching Aussie heavyweight Lucas Browne faces arguably his biggest test yet when he takes on fellow unbeaten fighter Andriy Rudenko in England next month.

"Big Daddy" Browne (20-0, 18 early) meets the 24-0 Ukrainian at Wolverhampton's Civic Hall on August 1.

A victory for Ricky Hatton-promoted Browne, who was based in Perth until the start of this year, will strengthen his claims for a crack at a world title. He is currently ranked in the top 10 by the WBC and IBF and at number 12 by the WBA.

The fight, which is for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title as well as Browne's WBC EPBC crown, was revealed on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.

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Rudenko is promoted by the Klitschko brothers' K2 Ukraine and has stopped 16 of his 24 opponents.

"I've never seen Rudenko, but if the Klitschko's believe in him then he must be a good fighter," Commonwealth champion Browne said.

"This is the sort of the opponent I need now. I want to fight for a world title in the next 12 months and to get a shot you've got to beat these kinds of guys.

"He's got 16 knockouts so he can obviously crack, but I'm not worried. I can take a shot and I know if I catch any heavyweight on the chin, he's going to sleep."

Matt Clark, Browne's co-manager, said: "This is another huge fight for Lucas. Rudenko was due to fight Chisora earlier in the year and he is certainly no mug. It's two undefeated fighters going at it and fight fans should be in for a great bout.

"Lucas is getting close to landing a big, big fight and a win here should jump him even further up the rankings.

"I believe he's the first Aussie heavyweight to be ranked by the WBC, WBA and IBF across the board and he's ready to make his assault on the heavyweight division."

Hatton will be in Australia this week to watch his unbeaten welterweight prospect Cameron Hammond fight in his home town of Moree, NSW.

The West Australian

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