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Lucas Browne challenges Ruslan Chagaev tonight

Ruslan ChagaevBy Scott Gilfoid: #2 WBA Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (23-0, 20 KOs) will be attempting to capture a world title tonight against WBA “regular” heavyweight world champion Ruslan Chagaev (34-2-1, 21 KOs) at the Colossseum Sport-Hall in Grozny, Russia. Browne weighed in at his lowest weight of his seven-year pro career in coming in at 249lbs.

This is a good weight for the 36-year-old Browne, who has been high as 273lbs just two years ago for his fight against Eric Martel Bahoeli in 2014. The weight hopefully isn’t a sign that Browne overstrained in getting ready for this contest.

Browne isn’t the youngest of heavyweight challengers at 36, and this might be his last chance at fighting for a world title. You would have to hope that he didn’t overdo it during training.

Chagaev weighed in at 248 ½ pounds at Friday’s weigh-in. This is a normal weight for Chagaev, as he started putting on weight four years ago when he went from the mid-220s to 248. The extra weight doesn’t seem to have helped the 37-year-old Chagaev any, but he’s not shown the ability to cut the weight and get back to the 225lb range that he was fighting at during the prime of his career.

When Chagaev fought Wladimir Klitschko in 2009, he weighed 224lbs and looked great. His problem was he was fighting a guy that was much taller, faster and more powerful than himself in a young Wladimir. This isn’t the old 39-year-old Wladimir we saw last November in his loss to Tyson Fury. The Wladimir that fought Chagaev in 2009 was still in his prime and could still pull the trigger on his shots. You can make an argument that the 2009 version of Wladimir would have clowned Fury and wiped him out in two or three rounds at the most. It would have been a massacre.

Browne is a big heavyweight at 6’5” compared to the 5’11” Chagaev, but he’s very, very slow with his shots. The southpaw Chagaev will have no problems tracking Browne’s shots tonight, and I think he might be able to counter whatever he throws. Heck, Browne was almost knocked out by the 38-year-old journeyman Julius Long last September.

The 7-foot Long staggered Browne at one point before Browne came back to score a knockout in the 9th. I had the fight very close at the time of the stoppage, and I was not impressed at all with what I saw from Browne.

Chagaev looked sensational in his last fight in stopping former world title challenger Francesco Pianeta last year in scoring a 1st round knockout win. If Chagaev fights like that tonight, then I feel sorry for Browne. He won’t be able to hang with Chagaev under those circumstances. For that reason, I think Browne is going to need to start quickly and look to empty out his toolkit as quick as possible because if he lets Chagaev start quick like he did in his fight with Pianeta, then this fight will likely be over with in a round or two with Browne splattered all over the canvas.

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