By Keith Idec
Ten months after winning a controversial split decision, Marcus Browne made sure this fight didn’t go the distance.
Browne dropped Thomas Williams three times on his way to a sixth-round knockout victory Saturday night in Cincinnati. The light heavyweight contender from Staten Island, New York, dropped Williams once apiece in the second, fourth and sixth rounds.
The left-handed Browne (19-0, 14 KOs) knocked down Williams (20-3, 14 KOs), also a southpaw, with a right hook early in the sixth round. Rather than attempting to get up, Williams was looking toward his corner, pointing toward his chin, while referee Ken Miliner was counting him out.
Miliner reached the count of 10 just 42 seconds into the sixth round of a scheduled 10-round fight.
Though Browne won by knockout, there were controversial moments in this fight, too.
Browne dropped Williams with a hard jab with 1:52 left in the second round. With Williams down, on his right knee, Browne drilled him with a straight left hand to the side of his head.
Williams was hurt badly by Browne’s foul. Miliner began to count when Williams was down, but seemed to realize Browne fouled Williams once Williams began tapping the back of his head. Williams took full allotment of time to recover – five minutes – and Miliner deducted a point from Browne for his infraction.
“He didn’t look like he went down, so I made sure he went down,” said Browne, who was ahead by the same score, 49-43, on all three scorecards when the fight was stopped. “He was trying to keep his balance. As you seen, he was trying to stand up. He was in a squat position, so I pushed him down a little bit more.”
Browne contended he wasn’t being dirty, but didn’t acknowledge Williams was down when he hit him again.
Browne buzzed Williams again once the action resumed, but Williams was able to make it to the end of the round. Williams was competitive in the third round, as he tried to go to Browne’s body and backed his taller, rangier opponent into the ropes.
Browne floored Williams again in the fourth round, when he landed a right hook at the 1:42 mark.
Williams barely beat Miliner’s count and appeared badly hurt. Again, though, he survived the round.
Despite getting up from the first two knockdowns, Williams looked slow and lethargic after Browne fouled him. The Fort Washington, Maryland, native lost a second straight bout by knockout.
Adonis Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) knocked out Williams in the fourth round of their July 29 fight in Quebec City, Canada. Browne called out Stevenson, the WBC light heavyweight champion, after knocking out Williams.
Browne escaped his previous fight with a controversial split-decision win against Radivoje “Hot Rod” Kalajdzic. The 26-year-old Browne won that highly competitive, eight-round bout on two scorecards (76-74, 76-75) and lost on one card (74-76).
The Browne-Williams fight was the first of three bouts broadcast by Showtime from Xavier University’s Cintas Center.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.