THE road to redemption for Lucas Browne begins in London.
It was two years ago that Browne defied the odds in Grozny, Chechnya to lift the WBA heavyweight title but purgatory was soon to follow. Now, after what seems like an eternity, the Sydney-based slugger finally has the chance to climb his way back into championship contention when he takes on Dillian Whyte for the WBC Silver heavyweight title in London on March 24.
It’s been a long road back for the man they call ‘Big Daddy’ but this fight is one he feels will finally bring him back to the level he once occupied before two failed drugs tests derailed his promising career.
“I was at a level after the Chechnya fight, after winning a world title and then it was taken away from me but I think this fight will put me back at a similar, if not the same, sort of level,” Browne told Aus-Boxing.com
“It’s a great exposure fight, either way you look at it. Dillian Whyte is a great opponent, he’s been in there with some tough guys and it’s in the UK which is also great for me, not in a place like Chechnya and it’s for the WBC silver title so there’s something up for grabs also.”
That something may not be the world title that was stripped from him but it does represent the beginning of what Browne has called his ‘road to redemption,’ a chance to put the past behind him.
“One of the things I’ve been doing is hash tagging ‘road to redemption’ on all of my social media and I think I just want to put it all behind me,” he says.
“The first one (failed drug test) was not my doing in any way whatsoever and I was cleared, the second one was unfortunately my stuff up but I just want to now move past all that and keep boxing.”
Sometimes the blows outside of the ring hurt more than those inside of it and it’s fair to say that Browne hasn’t had things his own way over the last two years but he’s adamant he’s more than tough enough to get back what he feels is rightfully his.
“I think this whole ordeal has made me not trust anyone, and rightly so but at the same time it’s made me harder, more mentally tough. I’ve gone through the worst you can go through and I’m still here.”
It’s hard to begrudge Browne of his cynicism and perhaps it’s this same mistrust that leads him to his answer when asked if he has any prediction for how the fight against Whyte will end.
“The only prediction I have is that it won’t go to the judges, Browne says.
“I definitely don’t want it to go there, I definitely don’t want to have my life and fight career in the hands of three people who are watching the fight, especially in another country. I think if I can stop him, the ref stops it or whatever it may be, a knockout then everyone can look at it and day he won fair and square, there’s no two ways about it.
One gets the feeling that Lucas Browne wont die wondering when he climbs into the ring to face Dillian Whyte in London’s O2 Arena and win or lose it shapes up as a classic heavyweight fight; redemption awaits.
Words: Dan Attias/Follow Dan on Twitter
Photo: Getty Images