Boxing: Lucas Browne stops Chagaev to become World WBA heavyweight champion

In a weekend full of upset victories; including Connor McGregor’s submission defeat to Nate Diaz and Holly Holm’s defeat at the hands of veteran Miesha Tate, perhaps the most relevant upset to Australia happened earlier this morning, when the undefeated Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne pushed through an early knockdown against Ruslan ‘White Tyson’ Chagaev to cruise onto a 10th round KO victory and win the WBA World Heavyweight Title.

The fight was contested at the Colosseum Sports Hall in Grozny, Russia and was broad live on Mainevent PPV

At the age of 36, Browne moves his professional boxing record to 24-0 and also becomes the first Australian to win a legitimate world heavyweight title in a very competitive fight.

In the early rounds, Browne showed good movement against the smaller, stockier Chagaev. Utilising his reach advantage, he attempted to keep Chagaev at bay with jabs and simple combos to start the round. His lateral movement proved useful, until moments wherein Chagaev would be able to cut off the ring, get inside, and land the harder punches.

Whilst Browne seemed to be doing well with keeping Chagaev away, the power behind Chagaev’s shots eventually started to show wear on Browne, as his defence and head movement was lessened, leading to several straight left hands coming down the pipe from the southpaw Chagaev. Towards the end of the second round, Browne was on the receiving end of a heavy left hand from Chagaev, although he quickly recuperated.

The next few rounds saw Browne trying to implement his plan of boxing Chagaev and to try to continue keeping him at bay with the jab. Whilst he was landing his fair share of punches, Chagaev was clearly landing the heavier punches, and was starting to inflict some real damage on the Aussie. At the end of the fourth round, Browne was again rocked by a hard straight left, clearly struggling with the awkward, short, heavy-handed southpaw.

The sixth round saw a significant change in the tide of the fight, as Browne was dropped by a solid overhand left from Chagaev. He was quick to get to his feet, yet was clearly not himself after the punch landed flush. Upon getting up, the Aussie was subjected to a battering by Chagaev, trying to put the finishing punch on Browne to secure victory for the Uzbekistani born fighter. However, the onslaught by Chagaev was not enough, as Browne held on, albeit almost getting knocked down once more at the end of the round.

Over the course of the next few rounds, Browne was able to quickly recover from the knockdown in the sixth, and start to utilise his straight right hand against the southpaw. Having expended quite a bit of energy trying to land power punches on Browne, the pace of the fight was beginning to take its toll on Chagaev, as he tired quickly.

Late into the 10th round, Browne was able to land a right hand flush on the chin on Chagaev, sending the “White Tyson” to the canvas instantly. Chagaev got to his feet, although it was obvious that the knockdown had caused significant damage. Browne responded with a barrage of right hooks, and then continued to batter the champ with a multitude of punches from a range of angles until the referee was forced to intervene and stop the fight.

Against all the odds, Lucas Browne exemplified the Aussie underdog spirit, and made his country proud with a 10th round stoppage victory over Chagaev. He is now the WBA regular heavyweight champ, and the first Australian to win a world heavyweight title in boxing history.