Australian puncher Lucas Browne is being forced to take a back seat as Ruslan Chagaev negotiates his next two WBA heavyweight title defense against Francesco Pianeta and Fres Oquendo respectively.
Despite being ranked higher than both fighters by the World Boxing Association and the next available challenger for ‘regular’ champion Chagaev, ‘Big Daddy’ will have to shelve plans for a world title challenge in 2015 until the title has been concluded between the trio.
Chagaev, 36, had already announced plans to defend against Pianeta in Madgeburg, Germany on July 11 when former foe Oquendo announced legal proceedings over an alleged unpaid purse from their fight in July 2014. A court ruled in favour of Oquendo and also stipulated that the veteran must be Chagaev’s next challenger to the WBA belt.
As Chagaev and his team wanted to avoid cancelling the previously confirmed Pianeta event, a deal has apparently been struck that will allow the contest to go ahead as planned – with Oquendo being given rock solid assurances that he would face the winner.
Browne has now been pushed further down the pecking order despite working his way to mandatory status and is set to look around for an alternative opponent as he awaits a conclusion to the Chagaev saga.
“It’s disappointing, but I’d like to fight at least twice before the title either way,” Browne told World Boxing News.