TLUCAS “BIG DADDY” BROWNE will engage in a warm up contest against Argentina’s experienced Gonzalo Basile next month before switching his attention to WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev.
The heavy-hitting Aussie is the current mandatory challenger for Chagaev’s crown, but a series of uncontrollable issues have led to the fight being delayed.
Now, Hatton Promotions has taken the decision to allow Lucas to defend his WBA Intercontinental title against battle-hardened Basile in Melbourne on August 14.
The fight represents a huge risk as the South American has a solid record consisting of 66 victories with 30 knockouts from 77 contests. However, Ricky Hatton has every faith that Browne will prevail before going onto conquer Chagaev.
“It’s a very tough fight and a potential banana skin for Lucas, but everyone knows how hard he hits and I think Lucas will score another knockout,” Ricky said.
“Lucas is the kind of guy who wants to fight every week and he’s obviously been disappointed with the delay [to the Chagaev bout], but he now understands that it’s not the fault of Hatton Promotions or the WBA.
“Chagaev’s people wanted to delay the fight so they could face Francesco Pianeta and paid Lucas money to step aside. That fight got pushed back and then Fres Oquendo went through the courts to get a rematch with Chagaev.
“Now we’re on the verge of everything being sorted out and if Lucas gets past Basile, his next fight will be for the world title.
“Chagaev has 120 days to face Oquendo and then he has to fight Lucas. If that doesn’t happen, the title will be vacant and Lucas will fight for it. Either way he gets his shot.
“I don’t think we’ve been given enough credit for the job we’ve done with Lucas. Before we signed him he was boxing on small shows for very little money. Since he’s been with us, he’s fought for career-best purses and we’ve got him to the verge of becoming Australia’s first ever world heavyweight champion.
“Believe me, there’s not many promoters who would put their fighters in with an opponent like Basile when there’s the chance it could cost them a world title shot, but we have faith in Lucas’s ability.
“I 100% believe he’ll smash Basile next month and then he’ll smash Chagaev.”
The Browne v Basille fight is part of an eight fight card promoted by Brian Amatruda and will be broadcast free to air across Australia on Channel 9.