Interesting to gauge the Australian predictions for this fight.
Tues 11th Dec, HKCEC, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Browne's last fight
Towers' last fight
Hatton’s Hong Kong Shootout: Towers v Browne Preview
This Tuesday sees the return of Ricky Hatton. Not as a fighter but rather as a promoter with his first Asian card “Road to Glory” in Hong Kong. Headlining the bill is an exciting fight between two big punching, unbeaten heavyweights: Richard “Inferno” Towers vs Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne. The clash between the two KO artists, who are also good friends, serves as an eliminator for David Price’s commonwealth title.
Browne and Towers’ friendship first came about during Browne’s successful two month stint in the UK where they both trained and sparred together. They are also stable mates, fighting under Ricky Hatton’s promotional team Hatton Promotions. Mutual respect has been shown on twitter regarding their upcoming bout, Towers said of their friendship: “Lucas is a nice fella. I’ve cooked for him; we’ve trained and spent a lot of hours together.” Browne also speaks highly of EU champion Towers: “…we got on like best mates”. Anyone who worries that the mutual respect and camaraderie would affect the eagerly anticipated matchup need not bother; Towers “If he can fight me then I can fight him and if he’s not ready he’ll get beat”. This battle between the former sparring partners is not the first time good friends have gone at it in the ring; one need look no further than world title fights between Ricky Burns and Kevin Mitchell who produced an entertaining battle earlier this year.
Lucas Browne hails from Perth, Australia and can boast an impressive looking record of 13-0 with 12 KOs. “Big Daddy”, a 6ft 4 banger, had his first breakout win in Feb of this year by knocking out Australian veteran Colin Wilson in three rounds to capture the Australian heavyweight title. Following that fight he signed for Ricky Hatton’s promotional outfit Hatton Promotions and scored two more KOs over British journeymen to setup the fight with stable mate Towers. The KO over Hastings Rasani in his previous fight was a chilling one punch knockout over the normally durable Zimbabwean.
The former MMA fighter Browne (34), who only swapped the cage for the ring fulltime in late 2010, has upped his training regime for what is undoubtedly his biggest fight to date: “I’ve never been 100% fit for a fight before. I’ve always come in a lot heavier than I should so (you will see) the difference this time around”. December 11th we should expect to see a fitter, lighter and faster Browne than we have seen before.
Yorkshireman Richard Towers is the other half to this explosive main event. He has a similar record of 14-0 with 11 KOs. The “Inferno” is an imposing 6ft 8 fighter who won his first title in his last outing (the EBU-EU belt, effectively an interim Euro title) against seasoned Frenchman Gregory Tony. It was his first 12 rounder after breezing through his early opponents but it was not easy. After surviving a torrid round 5 where he was badly hurt, Towers rallied to stop Tony in 9th.
In preparation for this fight Towers (33) has had the best possible preparation at Wladimir Klitschko’s Austrian training camp where has sparred Klitschko himself and unbeaten contender Deontay Wilder. A typically down-to-Earth Towers said of the camp: “Sometimes I feel out of my depth but I am learning”. Solid sparring, scientific facilities and a few words of wisdom will all have helped Towers prepare for the huge opportunity ahead of him now; a top of the bill fight in Hong Kong.
Not one to shy away from anything Towers has had a chequered past. He is no stranger to the courts or indeed a cell. He is refreshingly frank when speaking about his criminal exploits especially his big misdemeanour: “We had this known drug baron kidnapped and tortured. He was taken somewhere and done with steam irons and other things. We demanded a ransom for him but we let him go after three days." He served 6 and a half years for his part in the conspiracy (although was cleared of involvement in the torture). Now though a repentant Towers is on the “Road to Glory”, living a crime-free life where the only torture he sees is either in the ring or at the famous Wincobank Gym, home of his trainer Dominic Ingle.
Road to Glory
So this Tuesday night in the unusual location of Wan Chai, Hong Kong two heavy handed heavyweights put their friendship aside and will do battle for the right to challenge David Price for his Commonwealth title. This is pretty much a 50/50 fight where both fighters have a big chance of scoring a KO. Towers has a reach advantage but can be pressured. Browne has a thunderous right hand but can be a little ponderous. This Tuesday we will find out who is still on their ‘Road to Glory’.
The co-main event is a local attraction featuring local unbeaten super-flyweight Rex Tso. Tso 7(4)-0, is Hong Kong’s only professional boxer of note and will face experienced Timur Shailezov 16(3)-5(2) for an WBC Asian strap. Tso has trained for several months in the Philippines facing top quality, highly ranked sparring partners such as Fernando Lumacad and Randy Petalcorin. Other fighters on the bill include Hatton Promotions AP’s Australian Olympian Cameron Hammond who makes his pro debut on the bill and Ireland’s unbeaten welterweight Paddy Murphy.
This bill will be shown live on Eurosport in Australia and delayed on Eurosport in the UK.