LUCAS “BIG DADDY” BROWNE became the first Australian to win the Commonwealth heavyweight title in 122 years when he scored a fifth round knockout of Canada’s Eric Martel Bahoeli at the Ponds Forge Arena in Sheffield, England on Saturday night.
After flooring Bahoeli heavily with solid right in the second, Browne sustained a severe cut above this left eye from a head clash in the third, but still battled on to record his 20th pro victory and 18th stoppage.
If anything the laceration seemed to bring out the best in the 35-year-old from Sydney.
Knowing that the fight might be stopped after the doctors were twice called up to inspect the wound, Browne sprung into life and sent Bahoeli to the canvas again in the fourth with a right hook around the guard.
Bahoeli attempted to mount a fight back in the fifth and ultimately final round, but Browne forced the French-Canadian into a corner and finished the fight with a stunning uppercut to the jaw.
As well as earning Browne the Commonwealth championship the victory also saw him collect the WBC’s Eurasian Pacific title and enhance his world ranking.
Some major fights are now on the horizon and Browne has stated that he would like to return to the UK later this year to face either Tyson Fury or Dereck Chisora before targeting Vitali Klitschko.
Chief support saw Zanat Zhakiyanov become the second boxer to win a European title whilst being trained by former four-time world champion Ricky Hatton.
Zhakiyanov, 30, ripped the bantamweight crown from France’s confident Karim Guerfi in the fifth round with one of the best punches you’re likely to see this year.
Guerfi had shown good movement and at times frustrated Zhakiyanov with his jab, but when the Kazakhstani unleashed an overhand right to the jaw, it was game over.
Prior to the fight, Zhakiyanov was ranked at number six by the WBC and Guerfi was number five with the IBF, so the win could mean that Ricky Hatton’s latest punching sensation is soon in line for a world title fight.
Another boxer bolstering his global status was Sheffield’s own Adam “The Bomber” Etches.
The unbeaten 23-year-old had to deal with moments of clowning by Mexico’s Felipe De La Paz Teniente before halting him for the vacant WBC Youth middleweight title.
Etches sent the away fighter the canvas twice in the third round and piled on the pressure in the four and fifth before referee Victor Loughlin stepped in at 2.45 of the sixth.
Adam will now look towards potential domestic fights with the likes of Chris Eubank Jnr and John Ryder later in the year.
Scott Jenkins beat David Martin Campillo TKO 5
Adam Little beat Kevin McCauley PTS 60-54
Kirill Relikh beat Ty Gilchrist KO 1
Simon Barclay beat David Vicena PTS 40-36
Leo D’Erlanger beat Ryan McNicol PTS 39-37