"Big Daddy" Browne named mandatory for Ruslan Chagaev's belt.
It has been a long, painful and sometimes frustrating road for Browne, however now his faith in his own ability and destiny has been repaid after WBA chairman Gilberto Mendoza mandated on Wednesday that Chagaev’s representatives have 30 days to negotiate the fight with Browne.
Although Lucas is a very approachable and pleasant man outside the ring he looks like he'd eat your Granny in the ring.
Lucas Browne is the former MMA fighter, who won his first boxing contest in 2009 by KO. That has become a familiar outcome for many of his fights since, his record now stands at 22 fights, 22 wins, 19 of which have come by KO or stoppage. Of those 19, only 18 have heard the bell for the start of the 6th round. Impressive stats by anyone's standards. Whilst he would agree himself he isn't Ali, he has tremendous ability, huge power, is trained by Jeff Fenech and promoted by Ricky Hatton via Hatton Promotions.
Fenech told Boxing News in July 2014 -
"Browne hurts me on the pads more than Tyson, He can be world heavyweight champion"
- his prophetic words may be about to come true.
Browne's promoter Ricky Hatton (himself no stranger to title fights), had this to say to The Courier-Mail -
"I’m delighted that Lucas has been made the WBA’s mandatory challenger.
Chagaev has shown that he’s one of best heavyweights around, but Lucas is a massive puncher and can knock him out. Australia has never had a world champion at heavyweight so this is a chance for Lucas to make history and he’s going to grab it with both hands.
Lucas is a warrior who’ll fight anyone at any time and he’s been itching to get back in the ring. We’ve had a lot of people asking when they’ll see him fight again and I think the fans will be very pleased now we can reveal what we’ve been working on."
Whilst Hatton was obviously very happy with the announcement, he let his annoyance at fans get the better of him tweeting - @HitmanHatton world titles take time to work on, shame none of the pricks on here know. An army of keyboard promoting know it alls.
He got his man a shot and that is all a fan can ask of a promoter. So fair play...
Chagaev is a very decent fighter, winning the "Regular" belt against Fres Oquendo by majority decision in July last year. He has had 36 fights, winning 33, 20 by KO, with 1 draw. His 2 losses have come against quality opposition, namely Klitschko (in the 9th round) and Povetkin (points after 12 rounds). Whilst he is smaller than Browne he has had a lot of success against much bigger opposition, including getting a decision over the "Beast From The East", 7 foot Nicolay Valuev. Not sure he has met many with the power of Browne though...
A big part of the negotiations for this fight will revolve around where it actually happens. I'm sure Chageav wants the "home advantage", however this fight in Australia would make some serous dollars for both fighters and if promoted right could catch the imagination of many within boxing worldwide, especially in the UK where Lucas has a very strong and loyal backing. The UK would be the second best option for this fight or perhaps the better one in the long term as it would get more exposure being in Europe. A tie up with Warren/BoxNation could be a factor too.
I can see only one outcome and that is a Browne win, late stoppage or a points win would be my bets. He will have to go to places he hasn't been before as Chageav has been and seen it all, Browne will also need to be careful as his tendancy to cut means his defence needs to be spot on.
On 26th April 2014, I had the great pleasure to meet Lucas Browne before his fight against Eric Martel Bahoeli when he made history becoming the first Australian to be Commonwealth Champ for 122 Years. I fully expect him to create history again by becoming Australia's first ever heavyweight champion.
I wish both fighters well...