Australian Lucas Browne came back from the brink of being stopped to score a career-best victory over two-time world champion Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny.
The 36 year-old slugger matched Chagaev for the first five rounds until the Uzbek put him on the canvas in the sixth round and looked like he could end the argument. Despite seemingly out on his feet, Browne came back to survive the round and rally over the next four rounds.
‘Big Daddy’ eventually ground Chagaev down, and in the then tenth round dropped the veteran with massive shot that came out of nowhere and stunned the Partizan Colosseum Sport Hall crowd.
Chagaev got to his feet but was on unsteady legs and running on empty, whilst Browne sensed that the end was in sight. A mammoth effort from the dog-tired Browne pushed Chagaev onto the ropes and referee Stanley Christodoulou had no choice but to save the ‘White Tyson’ from heavy fire.
With the triumph, Browne becomes the first ever fighter from his home country to claim a version of the heavyweight title as the undefeated puncher walked away with the WBA ‘regular’ championship.
Big fights against the likes of Tyson Fury or Luis Ortiz are in the pipeline for Browne provided the new belt holder can come through Fres Oquendo in his first mandatory defense later this year.