LUCAS Browne has used his time on the sidelines to plot a return to the heavyweight summit.
The hard-hitting Australian lost his unbeaten record on the biggest of stages, falling to WBC Silver titleholder Dillian Whyte at the O2 Arena in spectacular fashion after six one-sided rounds.
Browne, 39, concedes that the loss was a necessary wake-up call, prompting wholesale changes.
“The loss for me was one of the best things that’s happened so far,” said Browne to T2T Boxing.
“It wasn’t a good thing in regards to how it happened, obviously on the world stage and everything else. It really was the kick in the arse that I needed. There was a bit of complacency, thinking my power will sort everything out.”
“Just thinking that I’m sorta somewhat invincible when you’re not.”
The first of those changes was the removal of previous head-trainer Rodney Williams, who guided Browne to a famous come-from-behind win over WBA regular titleholder Ruslan Chagaev in 2016.
“I want to make this clear and be on the record to say Rodney Williams, my former trainer, absolutely sensational fella,” he said.
“[He is] one of the best all-round boxing trainers, but when it comes to everything else, I was lacking. The strength and conditioning and all those things. I think that’s what showed in the ring.”
“Whyte was in the best condition he could be in, [it was] an absolutely sensational performance, hats off to him. That’s why I don’t think there’s any bad blood between us. We talked our crap in the ring, we did our thing and that was it.”
“He won fair and square, no problems with that.”
“I live in Perth, but I’ve been training in Sydney as my training camp prior to all this. It was like four months away from my wife and kids, it’s a long time to mentally have to worry about all that as well.”
“By the time I got to the fight, I thought tomorrow I go home. I wasn’t thinking about the fight, I was thinking I get to go home tomorrow. It was the wrong thing to be thinking, but that’s where I was.”
Browne (25-1, 22 KOs) has employed Perth-based trainer Jay Gray to overhaul his training regime, which includes taking the reign as his trainer.
The move back to Perth on a full-time basis has allowed Browne to achieve a healthy balance between boxing and family.
“The change that’s happened is now that I’m full-time in Perth, which is great,” he continued.
“I’m 39 years old, I know what works and what wasn’t working, so I had to change. I don’t have time to muck around and figure what’s happened, it’s time to make the change.”
For the best part of six years, Browne’s career has been guided by English promotional firm Hatton Promotions. After several issues leading up to Browne’s ill-fated meeting with Whyte, Browne admits that he’s better served elsewhere.
“I was supposed to go over have a sparring camp in the UK,” he explained.
“Hatton [Promotions] had supposedly organised all things things, that didn’t happen. The weekend before I landed, Nathan Gorman had a hand injury from a fight and couldn’t spar. It ended up me sparring Tyson Fury for that muck-around round that we did.”
“It really was just something for the cameras and just [Derek] Chisora.
“By the time that came around, mentally I just wasn’t there. I got rocked in one of the spars, cause I just saw it coming, and let the right-hand hit me, I just wasn’t right.”
“My contract with him [Hatton] is up in January, he has sent over a few things here and there.”
“One was to extend the contract, with stipulations that I don’t agree with. I’ve told him face-to-face that I don’t want to re-sign and go any further. For me, it’s just waiting until January for it to run out.”
Browne will make his return on September 28th in a rematch against American journeyman Julius Long, whom Browne faced back in 2015.
The non-title fight at the Gold Coast Convention Centre will serve as a timely opportunity to gauge his development.
“It [the fight] is a test for me and my knee,” he concluded.
“For my mental clarity and for my new trainer. We haven’t had a fight together yet, just to make sure everything is where it should be. Again, trial and error and stuff like that.”
“He’s seven foot and he’s quite rangy. I know for a fact that he’s not a walk-over, he’s very rangy and awkward. And I did break my hand in the first round in that last fight.”
“I had to fight him with basically one hand. I do want to put on a better performance, and see where I’m at as a whole.”
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