Saturday night at Colosseum Sport Hall in Grozny, Chechnya, Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (24-0, 21 KOs), the undefeated knockout artist from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, shocked the world by stopping reigning and defending WBA World heavyweight champion Ruslan “White Tyson” Chagaev (34-3-1, 21 KOs), the southpaw from Hamburg, Germany, by way of Andijan, Uzbekistan, in the 10th round of a scheduled 12-round bout.
Many had written off Browne before a single punch was thrown. No one ever doubted that he was tough. One look at Browne puts that to rest. But being a former MMA fighter and one-time bouncer isn’t optimal for becoming a boxer and his rudimentary skills and late start made the more polished Chagaev the favorite going in.
But whatever Lucas Browne may lack in finesse he more than made up for with heart.
At the opening bell, “Big Daddy” revealed some recently acquired boxing skills. He used his advantages in height and reach to keep the champion at bay. Browne the slugger was determined to not mix it up with Chagaev, who was trying to work his way inside.
The challenger tried to keep the champion at the end of his jab and effectively landed the uppercut. But by the third round it looked like Chagaev had decoded Browne’s tactics and was landing solid shots to the Aussie’s body.
Browne’s power seemed to have little effect on Chagaev. Instead, it was the other way around as Chagaev wobbled Browne in the fifth with a well-timed punch to the head.
The sixth was the round everyone was waiting for. Browne was cut early and the two-way action peaked when, with thirty seconds left on the clock, Chagaev landed a straight left to the chin that dropped Browne hard. He got to his feet but he was hurt. Chagaev went on the attack, looking to end the fight right then and there, but “Big Daddy” the lionhearted made it to the bell.
Browne, whose recuperative powers are off the chart, came out looking revitalized in the seventh. He went back to the jab, kept out of the range, and continued to use his uppercut to good effect.
Browne reverted to his original game plan, jabbing, moving, staying out of harm’s way, but Chagaev, like a tank in the heat of battle, wasn’t about to be deterred.
“Big Daddy” turned it around in a big way in round 10. He landed a right hook to Chagaev’s jaw and he went down as if he’d been shot. The champ beat the count, but “Big Daddy” smelled blood and while Chagaev languished on the ropes, the man from Down Under unloaded a barrage of right hands.
Chagaev was hurt. Chagaev was defenseless. Browne was unrelenting.
The referee Stanley Christodoulou stepped in and stopped the fight at the perfect time. He waved it off before it was too late.
Congratulations to Lucas Browne, the new WBA World heavyweight champion.
“Big Daddy” said he was going to make history as the first Australian heavyweight champion. Not everyone believed him at the time.
But everyone believes him now.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.