by Johnny Walker
Two undefeated big boys looking to move up in the heavyweight division are set to collide on Saturday at the Hull Arena in the UK, as Australia’s Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (17-0, 15 KOs), no small heavyweight at a well-built 6′ 4″ tall, goes up against the aptly named Richard Towers (14-0, 11 KOs) of Sheffield in the UK, who stands at 6′ 8″.
Both fighters are in the stable of former British boxing hero Ricky Hatton, who understandably feels conflicted about the bout.
Fireworks are almost guaranteed here, as both men are big hitters who have also hit the deck themselves on occasion. In his most recent bout, Browne was floored by American veteran Travis Walker, only to get up off the canvas to knock Walker down numerous times, while Towers got some help from a friendly referee to survive a rough round against Frenchman Gregory Toney, like Browne coming back to floor his opponent three times and ultimately emerge the winner.
“It’s a great fight, a great clash of styles,” Hatton told Sky Sports of the fight, listed as a Commonwealth heavyweight title final eliminator.
“Being the promoter of both, it’s a little bit upsetting to see them fighting each other. They’re two of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, but there’s nothing nice about the way they fight.
“This is great opportunity for them both. Lucas has a WBC ranking of 15th, which is a scalp Richard will be after. If you get to 15th in the world, things open up so it’s a big, big fight and it’s going to be very interesting.”
The scalp both heavyweights will be after is that of British and Commonwealth heavyweight titlist David Price, who is reeling after two losses to American veteran Tony “the Tiger” Thompson in two non-title bouts.
Price has made some big changes in his camp, dumping irascible promoter Frank Maloney, who has since retired, and local trainer Franny Smith for the services of the controversial Adam Booth, trainer of UK heavyweight David Haye.
Whether Booth can perform a reclamation job on Price’s career is open to question, but the aura of invincibility that Price had before he met Thompson has been blown away for the time being.
So, even though Browne and Towers are friends and stablemates, they know what is on the line here and will not let friendship enter into the picture once they enter the squared circle.
Towers hasn’t been in action since the Gregory Toney near-debacle nearly 17 months ago, but has been sparring with some world-class types, including champion Wladimir Klitschko, David Haye, and Dereck Chisora, and feels he’s ready for whatever “Big Daddy” is bringing from Down Under.
“My trainer Dom Ingle said to me ‘Richard, you’ve sparred with better boxers than most heavyweights have fought’” says Towers.
“I know people can say it’s only sparring, but when you get in the ring with these guys it’s a fight. They try to take your head off and I’ve got to try and take their head off or I’d get sacked. I just hope I can take what I’ve learnt into this fight and come out victorious.
“I’ve got the utmost respect for Lucas but I’m in this sport to demolish people and that’s what I’m going to try and do. I’m going in that ring to fight a war. I hope I’m at my best, I hope Lucas is at his best and I hope it’s one hell of a fight. I’m not looking to play any games so let’s have it.”
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