Report by Dean Ali [Twitter: @D_ali_87], ringside.
Australian heavyweight contender, and WBA #2, WBC #6 Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne (23-0, 20KO’s) knocked out American challenger, the 7ft 1in giant Julius ‘The towering Inferno’ Long (16-19, 14KO’s) in the 9th round of their ten round bout at the Melbourne Pavilion on Friday night. The fight was originally scheduled for twelve, but was scaled back to ten, as Lucas’ WBC Eurasia Pacific and WBA Intercontinental titles were not on the line.
Considering Long took the fight on only a week’s notice, it should have been a relatively easy night for Browne, who later claimed he hurt his right hand in the first round. But, it proved rather difficult as Long tried to continually push the action, but eventually succumbed to Browne’s powerful hooks and uppercuts on the inside. The third saw a bit of trash talk from Long, as he landed some cleaner punches and had Browne slightly bleeding from the nose at the end of the round. The middle rounds saw minimal action, with Long struggling to get his shots off as Browne kept the fight on the inside, landing the odd uppercut. It wasn’t until the eighth round that the action started to heat up, when Browne backed Long into the corner, unloading on him with a big flurry of punches, knocking him down. He was able to beat the count and make it through to the next round, which again started rather slowly. About half way through the round, Lucas again upped the tempo, landing three consecutive short left hooks, forcing Long to back up. When Browne did catch up to him, and launched a thudding left hook, it caught Long flush on the chin, sending him to the canvas for the second time in as many rounds, leaving referee Tony Maretta no choice but to waive off the contest without a count. The official time of the stoppage coming at 2:59.
In the main event, former IBO Super featherweight Champion “Wild” Will Tomlinson (24-2-1, 13KO’s), returned to Australia from the United States, for the first time after being knocked out by Francisco Vargas in March, defeating Filipino challenger Adones Aguelo (24-12-2, 16 KO’s) via a split points decision. It was also Will’s first fight at lightweight, after he decided to move up a division, due to the increasing difficulty to make 126. The earlier rounds looked all Tomlinson, as he was the busier fighter with the quicker, cleaner hands, and showed better ability to control the tempo of the fight by staying off the ropes and keeping the contest in the centre of the ring. It wasn’t until round six that Arguelo showed more of a sense of urgency and stepped up the aggression, unloading a quick, six punch combination that left Tomlinson bleeding from the nose, and with a deep cut over his left eye. Rounds seven and eight saw Arguelo trying to push the action, throwing more overhand rights, trying to target Tomlinson’s troublesome eye. After being urged by trainer Lim Jeka to box his opponent rather than slug with him, Tomlinson again controlled rounds nine and ten, landing quick jabs and straight right hands, before moving out of the way of Arguelo’s overhand right. The judge’s final scores were 95-95, 97-93, 97-94.
On a great night of boxing presented by Brian Armatruda/ Team Fenech. Other results on the card were:
(Heavyweight 4rds) Hasim Abdullah d Ace Haroon (TKO2, 1:03)
(Light Heavyweight- 6rds) Trent Broadhurst d Affif Belghecan (UD 59-55 x2, 60-54)
(Super Middleweight- 6rds) Dwight Richie d Mark Dalby (UD 60-54 x2, 60-53)
(Light Middleweight- 6rds) Richard Smith d Joel Camilleri (UD 58-56 x2, 58-57)
(Heavyweight) Jai Opetaia d Rob Manual (TKO1, 2:46)