Lucas Browne Update – Australian heavyweight Lucas Browne made history last March 5th when he scored a late, come from behind knockout over Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Russia to become the WBA world heavyweight champion. Shortly afterwards, Browne failed a post-fight urine test for PEDs and the WBA quickly suspended Browne for six months and stripped him of the belt, which they handed back to Chagaev on short order.
Since then, Browne has steadfastly maintained that he is innocent, and he retained legal counsel in the form of boxing promoter/attorney Leon Margules to represent him. Margules was part of Browne’s team in the build-up to the fight and he continues to represent Browne as this case develops.
Margules and Browne have taken the next step, which is filing a lawsuit against the WBA. The opening hearing is scheduled for July 21st in Tacoma, Washington. The lawsuit seeks relief for damages caused to Browne’s reputation as well as the return of the WBA heavyweight title.
Browne’s six month suspension by the WBA is retroactive to the day of the fight, so technically, Browne will be eligible to return to ring action in September. In the scope of things, had Browne not been stripped of the belt, September is likely the earliest we would have seen him return to action, so the WBA’s suspension has the look and feel of little more than bureaucratic process. Despite that, Browne has filed the lawsuit because he wants the WBA heavyweight championship that he believes is rightfully his back in his possession. Also, he is seeking an unspecified amount for the damage that has been done to his career and his reputation. Browne, who turned 37 this past April has never tested positive in his pro career, spanning seven years and twenty three previous fights.
The March victory gave Browne a legitimate piece of history as it made him the first heavyweight world champion from Australia, a country with a rich boxing history that includes Jack Johnson’s winning the heavyweight world title from Tommy Burns in Sydney back in 1908.
Lucas Browne Update