SOUTH Coast boxer Mark ‘2Sharp’ Lucas will turn his attention to an International pro debut after claiming the OPBF silver title earlier this month.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games rep faced the biggest test of his burgeoning pro career in hardened veteran Samuel Colomban, but was good enough to earn a decision victory.
Coach Nudge Mieli said he was surprised that Colomban – who’s campaigned at welterweight for the bulk of his career – carried his strength into the middleweight bout but said his charge controlled the action in a composed performance.
“It was a tough fight, [Colomban] came in a lot physically bigger and stronger than I thought he would,” Mieli said.
“He was coming up in weight and a lot if guys don’t bring their weight and strength with them but her certainly did.
“He proved to be just as tough and awkward as we expected him to be. He’s had 37 fights so he’s five-times as experienced as Mark is and he used all of his experience.
“The volume he threw was crazy, so he’s obviously trained extremely hard, even his cornermen said they hadn’t seen him train that hard in a long time.
“It was tough for Mark mentally and physically because it went the full 10 rounds. I thought we had a decent chance of stopping him but he took some big shots.
“It was a great test for us and we got through it well, Mark controlled the whole fight, landed some really good shots and I was pretty confident at the end that we’d won the fight.”
The bout and victory took Lucas’ record to 8-0 as a pro and was no doubt the biggest scalp of his young career.
“Colomban’s only ever been stopped once and that was by [WBO champion] Jeff Horn and he was 25-9 coming into the fight,” Mieli said.
“We knew it was going to be a tough fight but we’re at the point in his career when we should be fighting these type of guys.
It now sees Lucas ranked in the WBC top 20 while he’s also ranked with the WBA after picking up the interim PABA title in July last year. The Forte Boxing camp has now issued a challenge to OPBF champion Tyson Koki in Japan, which would be Lucas’ first pro bout abroad.
“We’ve put in an offer to fight the OPBF champion Tyson Koki in Japan which would be a big one for us,” Mieli said.
“Mark’s now ranked 18th in the world in the WBC so it’s a good opportunity now for us because we’re the mandatory [challenger] for that belt.
“It’ll be a tough fight - he’s a big guy (6’3) for a middleweight and a southpaw.
“It’s a really big task to face but I know we can come up with the right tactics to beat the guy and if we beat [Koki] we’d be top 30 in the world, so that’s the next goal for us.”