South Coast boxer Mark Lucas has booked his ticket to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, after taking out the coveted middleweight (75kg) division at the Australian National Boxing Championships in Perth on Sunday.
Lucas had to overcome a tough draw that saw him face London Olympian Jesse Ross in the first round and the 24-year-old was the only champion crowned at the championships who had to fight four bouts to take out his division.
After a split decision victory over Ross in the first round, Lucas won unanimous decisions over No 1 seed Roger Grant (Victoria), South Australian champion Stephen Finney and ACT No 1 Curtis Cooper en route to the title.
Lucas said he took an all or nothing attitude into the championships where his Commonwealth Games dream was on the line.
"Losing it never really crossed my mind. I didn't really know what I was going to do if I lost," Lucas said
"You usually make little plans about 'what if' but this time I was 100 per cent focused and could only see myself winning."
Lucas said he welcomed the tough draw that saw him face Ross and top-seed Grant in his first two bouts.
"I was pretty happy I drew Jesse [Ross] first up because I wanted to hammer him," Lucas said.
"It wasn't hard to get excited for that fight, it was easy to get up for.
"I had to cut off that elation from that win pretty quickly because I was probably more worried about the Roger Grant fight.
"I thought that was going to be a really tough fight but it was probably one of my best ever performances.
"I just focused 100 per cent on the guy in front of me and that's what got me through the tournament, not getting ahead of myself."
Coach Nudge Mieli said the victory in the championships was a triumph seven years in the making.
"It's been seven years working towards this," Mieli said.
"It's massive. People just don't understand what this kid has done.
"He got the hardest side of the draw, the other side of the draw was nothing compared to his.
"People have always under-rated him. They've always said: he's too weak, he's too skinny, he can't punch ... all the negative stuff we've dealt with."