Lucas Browne’s shot at redemption

Cam Stokes Roar Pro

By Cam Stokes, Cam Stokes is a Roar Pro


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    The greatest redemption story in Australian sport is perhaps about to be written. It’s certainly the best story of 2018.

    It involves climbing a peak that no other Australian has conquered, falling from the top, and then rising to climb it again.

    Aussie boxer Lucas Browne is on just that journey, as dramatic and potentially uplifting as any Hollywood tale.

    News that Browne’s team has secured a bout with Brit Dillian Whyte will come as great relief to fans who have been salivating at the prospect of ‘Big Daddy’ stepping back into the ring after his much-publicised failed drug tests.

    The comeback has been a long time coming, as can happen in this sport of deal makers and breakers, and Browne himself has been busy calling out opponents for the better part of 12 months. Now he has a date and opponent set in stone, the real work can begin.

    Browne is a man of contradictions, of extremes; the look of a biker and the nature of a philosopher; a beast in the ring, and a gentleman on the streets; erudite and intelligent, with a couple of big-time hurting bombs on the end of those tattooed arms.

    Boxing fans will know his story well. A trip to Chechnya in 2016 resulted in a stunning knockout victory over local hero Ruslan Chagaev, giving Browne the honour of being Australia’s very first heavyweight champion.

    Travelling to such a hostile environment, battling every obstacle that was put in front of him, and emerging victorious put Browne on the map for all the right reasons.

    But it didn’t last long.

    A positive test to clenbuterol saw Browne stripped of the title and despite having the ban overturned by the WBA, Browne struggled to shake the stigma after subsequently taking a supplement that also saw him fail a test.

    Many wrote him off after the two issues, despite being cleared of one, but with the dramas now behind him, Browne starts on the path that he hopes will take him back to the title.

    First on that path is Whyte, on March 24, at London’s O2 Arena.

    The bad blood between Browne and White is obvious to anyone with a passing interest in social media. Regularly trading insults across various platforms, Browne has made no secret of his desire to unleash his power on Whyte, adamant he will end the fight early.

    Despite travelling to Whyte’s home country for the bout, Browne will feel right at home in England, having fought there five times already and enjoying strong support in the country.

    If Browne can secure this victory, he will set himself for the ultimate redemption bout – a world heavyweight title clash.

    Boxing is a sport that offers fairy tales like few others, hence the frequent Hollywood treatment. The combination of endurance, pain, isolation and fear tests athletes like little else, and the many backstories of troubled upbringings and ultimate redemption add an irresistible layer of drama.

    There is a long way to go, but if Lucas Browne can again be declared Australia’s first ever heavyweight champion, his name will be carved into our sporting history.

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    The Crowd Says (6)

    • January 16th 2018 @ 9:33am
      Kavvy said | January 16th 2018 @ 9:33am | ! Report

      Spewing this isn’t on the Joshua v Parker undercard a week later, damn you Eddie Hearn!

    • Roar Guru

      January 16th 2018 @ 1:58pm
      BigJ said | January 16th 2018 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

      Its great that Browne is getting back into the ring, but he will be always drug cheat (once is forgiveable, twice isn’t). Plus with champs like parker, Joshua and Wilder its very unlikely he be champion ever again

      • Roar Pro

        January 18th 2018 @ 10:31am
        Cam Stokes said | January 18th 2018 @ 10:31am | ! Report

        Cleared of one, though…

    • January 18th 2018 @ 11:04pm
      Bob said | January 18th 2018 @ 11:04pm | ! Report

      I am looking forward to this fight but am concerned about Browne’s inactivity. Has to be the potential for ring rust. He has had one fight since the Chagaev fight in March 2016. In comparison, Whyte has had SIX fights during that time.

      • Roar Guru

        January 19th 2018 @ 11:50am
        BigJ said | January 19th 2018 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        Exactly right Bob. The inactivity period is always a factor especially when boxers get older. But then again look what Mundine did the other night with almost a year out of the ring. Even if Browne was to win the fight his chances of getting a title shot are slim to nil. With all the unification bouts that are happening this year Joshua v Parker in March then Wilder v the probably in September. Browne will have to wait until next year before he would be even considered for a title fight. He will have to keep very busy this year with at least three fights. Browne age does not help either, he is pushing 40 and unless he plans to be the next George Foreman time is not on his side

        • January 20th 2018 @ 3:31pm
          Bob said | January 20th 2018 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

          I agree. He can’t afford to have any time out now at his age. Has to at least fight 6 times in the next two years to get the most out of his career.

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