Browne edges closer to Chagaev, eyes UK or Aussie venue

Digital Sports / Mark Robinson

The long wait is almost over for Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne as the WBA mandatory challenger finally stands on the verge of challenging for the world heavyweight title.

Undefeated in 23 bouts, the 36 year-old has been number one with the World Boxing Association for almost a year and been patiently holding out for current champion Ruslan Chagaev to fulfil his obligations to the organisation.

Chagaev was originally due to battle Browne after his win over Francesco Pianeta in July, although the Australian puncher faced a further wait when ex-opponent Fres Oquendo earned a rematch through the courts. Oquendo claimed he was owed money from the first fight and successfully lobbied for another chance.

Unluckily for the ‘The Big O’ though, an injury has occurred which requires an operation and that has opened the door for Browne to be handed his opportunity earlier than expected.

Oquendo’s representative Thomas Tsatas explained the situation as it stands on Friday.

“It looks as though Fres will be out for six months due to the surgery. Our promoter/lawyer John Wirt of Square Ring & Hitz Boxing will be discussing the matter with Mr. Timur Dugazaev (Chagaev representative), Akhmat Promotions and the WBA for a solution,” Tsatas told World Boxing News.

“I’m sure it will all be worked out, but out of court this time. Ruslan wants to fight and I know Fres wants that belt that has eluded him. Obviously Pianetta wasn’t a challenge for Ruslan and I’m not sure talks with Lucas are all there so it’s up in the air.

“But upon our return, and whether it’s Ruslan, Browne or anyone else, the words ‘and the new’ will be heard at the end of the decision when Fres finally gets in there.”

Browne also gave his side to WBN by adding: “I’m waiting on my promoter Ricky Hatton and the WBA to chat with Chagaev’s people. I’m next, yes, but when and where is still to be decided.

“Hopefully we can get the fight arranged for December or January, but not in Russia. I’m pushing for a neutral venue in the UK if I can’t get the fight made in Australia.

“If the fight date goes past January, then I’ll be looking to get in there before Chagaev to stay busy,” Browne told World Boxing News.