Lucas Browne Vows to Continue His Career Following an Upset Loss To Paul Gallen…But Should He Retire?
When Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (29-3, 25 KOs) defeated multi-divisional world champion James Toney in April of 2013, he was tabbed as a heavyweight worth keeping an eye on. He used the win over the living legend to spring up the ranks. His hard work and progression culminated in a tenth round stoppage over Ruslan Chagaev to capture the WBA “Regular” heavyweight title in March 2016.
The product of New South Wales, Australia, was on the come-up! He was unbeaten and in a position to possibly face then-unified heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury. Then suddenly, the wave of momentum halted. What transpired since can only be described as controversy outside the ring. Followed by a steady decline inside the ropes.
A REPEAT OFFENDER
Following the win over Chagaev, Browne failed a post-fight VADA drug test after popping positive for Clenbuterol. He was issued a six-month suspension. In November of 2016, he was suspended by VADA for a second time after testing positive for the banned substance Ostarine. This came right before he was expected to return against former lineal champion Shannon Briggs.
Once granted permission to fight again, he almost instantly became a different fighter. He returned in June 2017 after over a year out of the ring to stop journeyman Matthew Greer. However in March 2018, a bloated and extremely out of shape version of Browne showed up in the O2 Arena to face WBC Silver champion Dillian Whyte. Needless to say he suffered a brutal knockout in the sixth round. He has wins against more journeymen with losing records since but his performances as well as his physique have not been up to par.
Is it just a coincidence that once Browne was caught taking PEDs twice within an eight month span, his physique and performances hit rock bottom? We will leave that up to the reader to decide!
TRYING TO RECAPTURE PAST GLORY
After going 1-1 in 2019, Browne returned to the ring once again April 21 against former rugby player turned undefeated prospect Paul Gallen (11-0-1, 6KO). Despite his undefeated record, Gallen had fought no one of note. Four of his wins were over fighters making their professional debuts. He’s only fought two fighters with more than two professional fights! To say his resume is suspect is being very being polite.
Nevertheless, the pre-fight build-up had Australian fans on edge. Although many were intrigued by the match-up, most boxing fans expected Browne to win in comfortable fashion. Every odd maker around the world had the former WBA “regular” champion the favorite.
However fifty seconds into the opening, Gallen hurt Browne with a right hand above the ear. A follow-up salvo put Browne down on his back. After getting up to beat the count, Gallen swarmed. He poured in with combinations that produced a second knockdown with seventy-five seconds to go in the round. Brown was too hurt to get up and failed to beat the count.
Before fans could get warm in their seats, the fight was over. A shockwave shook the arena and many Australian fans at home as almost immediately, the majority of viewers felt Browne took a dive!
LET’S BE HONEST
It’s an embarrassing defeat for Browne. After the fight, he claimed the initial right hand that hurt him was an illegal punch behind the head. But watching the sequence in slow motion, that was not the case.
Furthermore, the former champion addressed allegations of him taking a dive in a post on his Facebook page.
“It’s so fucking sad to see so many bullshit comments, attacks, haters and people saying I took a dive. I had a fight! I fought [like] shit and couldn’t recover. I’ve been out the ring for too long and got beat. End of the story.
“I got in there, had a go, failed, and that’s it. Full credit to Gallen. Thank you to the fans, supporters, and sponsors, and I do apologize.”
Browne went on to say that he intends to fight again. But at this point, is that a wise decision? He’s 42-years-old now. He’s lost two of his last three fights by knockout from below average contenders.
The other loss to David Allen was from a body shot. Although, Allen is far from an elite fighter. If you’re grading on a curve and giving extra credit, he’s a moderate, C-level heavyweight at best.
Gallen is a level below Allen in terms of both talent and resume. When you lose to the likes of Paul Gallen and Dave Allen, it does not bode well if you have any visions of a future in this sport.
Yes, Browne wants to carry on. Unfortunately at this point, the writing is clearly on the wall. It’s time that he have a look in the mirror and consider retirement.
By: Michael Wilson Jr & EJ Williams