Commonwealth Games beckon for Lucas

BOXING 

South Coast boxer Mark Lucas has his sights set firmly on next year's Commonwealth Games after taking out the stacked middleweight (75kg) division at the NSW Amateur Boxing Titles.

Lucas won his third state title despite spending the bulk of his preparation in plaster after breaking his right hand during sparring.

Despite the injury, coach Nudge Mieli said he could not keep his protege out of the gym.

"He had to have an operation and they pinned it but the week after he was training again," Mieli said.

"He was in plaster and he trained for 12 weeks with one hand. He was sparring guys with one hand. He just doesn't stop, you can't get him out of the gym it's just 100 per cent dedication and commitment."

The state title was the first step in qualification for next year's Commonwealth Games and capped a strong year for Lucas in which he was twice selected by the AIS to represent Australia in China and Europe.

The 24-year-old now has more than 60 fights to his name, including 10 internationals, and plans on fighting a lot more before he considers entering the murky world of professional boxing.

"I'm 100 per cent focused on making the Comm Games and the [2016] Olympics," Lucas said.

"Boxing in the amateurs is the higher quality competition.

"We don't pick and choose who we fight, it's not about promoters and shows, it's just about beating the best guys that they put in front of you."

The world of professional boxing is currently awash with former Olympic gold-medallists including current super-bantamweight world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and Ukrainian featherweight Vasyl Lomachenko, who's been touted as a world title contender after just one pro fight.

Should he realise his Olympic dream, Lucas believes he'll have plenty of time to join them on the professional scene, hopefully following in the footsteps of 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Daniel Geale.

"Daniel Geale's a great example of someone who took an amateur pedigree into the pros," Lucas said.

"Guillermo Redondeaux is a two-time Olympic gold medallist.

"He's only had 13 [professional] fights and he's a multiple world champion already and is one of the biggest names in the sport.

"Vasyl Lomachenko is the perfect example of being the best amateur in the world who could come in and probably take care of every professional out there right now.

"I'll only be 27 after Rio and I'm pretty confident I could have a successful professional career if I choose to go that way, but first I want to represent Australia in Comm Games, World Championships and Olympics," Lucas said.

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