Lucas Browne: Next fight against Shannon Briggs?
Yesterday, Lucas Browne made history by becoming the first Australian to win a share of the heavyweight title, defeating WBA regular champion Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Chechnya.
Browne advanced to 24-0, 21 KOs while Chagaev dropped to 34-3-1, 21 KOs.
The 37 year old, behind in the fight, survived some rocky moments, including a knockdown and a cut, to rally to knockout out his Russian foe in spectacular fashion in Round 10.
“I know I’ve got a good chin. I obviously got rocked by something silly with his left hand, but I think I came back quite well,” Browne said via TheGuardian.com
“Rocky is a movie, but that was a real-life Rocky moment,” Browne’s manager Matt Clarke added. “He was trailing in the fight, that was clearly obvious. We asked him to dig deep and pull something out and he did.”
Although Tyson Fury, the WBA 'Super' heavyweight title-holder, is the real and legitimate champion (even among the WBA's slew of paper champions), Browne gains a tremendous lift in stock, and may become a powerbroker of sorts in the division. So although he essentially owns a trinket, it's a valuable one and Lucas might be able to dangle that belt to lure a high-profile opponent to Australia.
“It [the win] does really put the cherry on top,” said Browne.
“It moves me into better positions for bigger fights, bigger money fights."
So who will Lucas Browne fight next?
Will it be Shannon Briggs?
A former WBO world heavyweight champion and top challenger in the 1990s, 44 year old Shannon Briggs (59-6-1, 32 KO) is a popular character who is ranked high by the WBA.
As of January 19, 2016, the WBA's Top 15 heavyweights were as follows:
TYSON FURY - Super champion
RUSLAN CHAGAEV - Regular champion
1 LUIS ORTIZ - Interim champion
2 LUCAS BROWNE
3 WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO
4 SHANNON BRIGGS
5 ALEXANDER USTINOV
6 FRES OQUENDO
7 ANDREY FEDOSOV
8 ANTONIO TARVER
9 DAVID HAYE
10 ERKAN TEPER
11 JOSEPH PARKER
12 ANTHONY JOSHUA
13 BRYANT JENNINGS
14 KUBRAT PULEV
15 JARRELL MILLER
Of course, Browne replaces Chagaev as Regular champion.
Is Briggs vs Browne a lock for Browne's first title defense?
Not only does he have the charisma to sell tickets, he may also be viewed as easy pickens by Browne's handlers. Although 8-0, 6 KO on his nearly two year old comeback, the aging Briggs hasn't defeated anyone of name in years. However, he has strong name recognition, 33 first round knockouts (the most for any heavyweight champion) and, of course, the personality to sell tickets.
Is Lucas Browne vs Shannon Briggs on tap?