Lucas Browne is at an age where most fighters are either retired or well on their way out the sport.
A harsh decision made on his latest proposed fight could push him in that direction.
The 43-year-old Australian heavyweight was tabbed to next face secondary WBA heavyweight titlist Daniel Dubois in a proposed bout that would have taken place on November 26 at The O2 in London. However, the bout was rejected by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC), according to Browne who didn’t mince his words in sounding off against the UK governing body who made plenty of enemies this week.
“I’ve come off two great knockout wins against one of the better fighters in Australia and an up-and-coming fighter in Junior Fa,” Browne noted in a video that he posted on social media on Thursday. “I knocked him out in one round. I currently hold an IBF and WBA Regional title and a Top 15 ranking with the WBA. I’m apparently too old. You finally get the greatest news ever that you’re going to challenge for the world title. Then, some board somewhere says he’s 43, he’s too old, we’re not going to sanction him.
“How sad is that? It’s not like I’ve been beat around the head all my career, I’ve got three losses in total. How does this work? How exactly does this work, where a body of people who are obviously too old to fight themselves just go ‘oh no he’s too old. We’re not going to worry about it.’”
Browne (31-3, 27KOs) scored a career-resurrecting first-round knockout of New Zealand’s Fa (19-2, 10KOs) this past June 5 in Melbourne. The ESPN-aired bout saw Browne twice floor Fa en route to his quickest victory in more than nine years. Two regional titles at stake also allowed him to rise in the rankings, specifically with the WBA where he is now eligible to fight for the title.
His shoulder was tapped, as suggested by Dubois’ head coach Shane McGuigan in a recent interview with SecondsOut. The BBBofC felt otherwise, however. News of the development came on the heels of the Board refusing to sanction the Chris Eubank Jr.-Conor Benn fight scheduled for this Saturday also at The O2, as the fight fell apart once it was learned that Benn (21-0, 14KOs) tested positive for the banned substance Clomiphene as discovered through testing contracted by VADA.
Browne has won three of his last four starts, the lone defeat coming in a first-round knockout to unbeaten Paul Gallen last April in Wollongong, Australia. The loss came two years almost to the day of his third-round body shot knockout loss to David Allen in April 2019 at The O2. The same venue played host to Browne’s sixth-round stoppage defeat to Dillian Whyte in their March 2018 clash, the first loss of his career.
At his peak, Browne rallied from a knockdown and massive scorecard deficit to score a tenth-round stoppage of Ruslan Chagaev to win a secondary WBA heavyweight title in March 2016.
The feat was short-lived, as Browne tested positive for Clenbuterol which resulted in his being stripped of the belt and suspended for six months. An appeal filed by Browne’s team was met with sympathy from the WBA, who granted him the benefit of the doubt and allowed him to contend for the title of which he was previously stripped. He never made it to that point, once again testing positive for a banned substance—this time, Ostarine—which took him out of the title mix.
Browne has worked hard to reposition himself for one last shot at a belt, though will have to explore other means to realize that dream.
“I’m coming off two great knockout wins with two belts and a world rating, how am I too old,” questioned Browne. “If I’m too old I wouldn’t have any of that. How in any way whatsoever is that right? And how can that be allowed to stand? I don’t understand. The guy from Australia gets f------ over again. It’s money and politics. If you don’t have the money and the politics to back it up, you get f------ over.
“That’s been my entire career, unfortunately. My entire career, I’ve been f------ over by every country. I don’t know what it is. There’s always been something. There wlll always be something. It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth about boxing. I never want my kids to go into boxing. I think it’s f------ from start to finish. From the amateurs to the professionals, it’s bullsh!t. Why not just let people fight and be done with it? That’s my two cents, anyway.”
For now, plans remain in place for Dubois (18-1, 17KOS) to move forward with the date though now against an opponent to be determined. The Board’s ruling on Browne comes after it was learned that plans for an all-British heavyweight clash between Dubois and Whyte went south after once being on the table.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox