Klitschko Facing Lucas Browne – The ongoing negotiations to make an Anthony Joshua versus Wladimir Klitschko heavyweight title bout for December are apparently over. The news is breaking that Klitschko has elected to fight in Hamburg on December 10th against Lucas Browne with the WBA’s vacant heavyweight title on the line.
The WBA’s “Super World” title was vacated by Tyson Fury just last week, and the “Regular” world title belt sits somewhere in limbo, as it was last contested by Lucas Browne and Ruslan Chagaev in their controversial match in Grozny, Russia, this past March. In that fight, Browne, trailing badly on the scorecards, stopped Chagaev in the 10th frame to become the first native Australian to win a heavyweight title, but he was subsequently stripped and slapped with a 6-month suspension after a positive steroid test was returned. Browne protested and mounted a legal defense that saw him suing the WBA at one point. The WBA’s website lists Ruslan Chagaev as the champion, and after Browne’s test saw him stripped there was talk that the belt could be returned to Chagaev. The match between Klitschko and Browne is for the vacant WBA title, and it should also be noted that undefeated Cuban Luis Ortiz holds an “interim” version of the belt.
Browne’s 6-month suspension ran its course in September, and there certainly was enough doubt cast over what really happened to give Browne’s defense an air of believability. Regardless, the 37-year-old Aussie is 24-0 with 21 KOs and looking to continue his career. Part of what Browne’s lawyer Leon Margules claimed in their lawsuit was that Browne’s reputation suffered because of the incident. If Browne can beat Klitschko it will go a long way towards firmly putting the past behind him.
Klitschko Facing Lucas Browne
This leaves Anthony Joshua without a dance partner for Manchester on December 10th. The IBF’s #1 contender for Joshua’s world title is Joseph Parker, but Parker appeared to step aside for the time being, allowing Klitschko versus Joshua to happen. Now Parker is said to have moved on and be looking for a fight for the vacant WBO world title, where he is also the #1 contender. Enter promoter Bob Arum, who is said to be pushing his charge Andy Ruiz Jr to face Parker.
British promoter Eddie Hearn may opt for a match between Joshua and David Haye, as the match would be a huge attraction in England despite the fact that Haye has not fought anyone remotely credible in almost five years.
Hearn is one of the most active and creative promoters out there today, but it appears with the match less than two months away, that his options for credible opponents are dwindling. Oh, the best laid plans of mice and men…
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