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Lucas Browne stops Ruslan Chagaev, wins WBA title

Ruslan ChagaevBy Scott Gilfoid: In a huge upset win, Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (24-0, 21 KOs) scored a tremendous 10th round stoppage win over WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev (34-3-1, 21 KOs) to capture the WBA title on Saturday night at the Colosseum Sport Hall, in Grozny, Russia.

Browne caught Chagaev with a big right hand in the 10th to put him on the canvas. After a badly hurt Chagaev got back to his feet, Browne flurried on him until the fight was halted by referee Stanley Christodoulou. Chagaev was still on his feet, but he was finished. The crowd didn’t like the stoppage, but if the fight wasn’t halted, we would have seen Chagaev on the canvas in short order.

In the knockdown sequence, Chagaev was throwing a shot of his own at the same time Browne was throwing a right hand. Browne’s right hand got there first and it was thrown with major power behind it. Chagaev took the shot flush and there was no way he was going to be able to stay on his feet after getting hit with that massive punch.

Browne was trailing going into the 10th round after he was dropped in the 6th round by a hard left hand from Chagaev. Things looked mighty bleak for Browne at the start of the 10th. However, Chagaev looked gassed ever since he put Browne down in the 6th. The effort that Chagaev put into trying to score a stoppage over Browne in the 6th left the Russian Chagaev totally exhausted, and he never got his second wind. Chagaev flurried with his power shots in trying to get a knockout in that round. Chagaev was even throwing punches after the round had ended. Browne did a good job of taking the shots, and staggering back to his corner.

Before the knockout in the 10th, it looked like Browne had hurt Chagaev, as he backed up against the ropes briefly after Browne landed a heavy right hand to the head. The tide of the fight looked like it was turning at that point. Instead of going after Chagaev, Browne backed off though. Moments later, Browne caught Chagaev with a peach of a right hand that put him on the canvas for a knockdown.

What was surprising was how little left Chagaev had after the 6th. The man looked truly exhausted. He was there to be knocked out from the 7th round. The problem was Browne didn’t have the sense enough to realize that he could have blitzed the Russian and taken him out.

Browne was cut from his left eye from the 6th round, but he didn’t let the cut stop him from fighting hard. It was surprising to see all the movement from Browne. He was moving in circles and showing a side of his game that I’d never seen before. It was like watching WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder move around the ring.

The jabbing and the movement that Browne used in the fight was impressive. His hand speed was very, very slow, but you could see that he had big time power when he did land his shots regardless of how slow they were.

All in all, it was a good performance from the 36-year-old Browne. He showed that he could come back from a knockdown and get the win. Browne’s formidable punching power bailed him out of this fight. If not for that, he would have likely lost the fight.

As for Chagaev, he looked old tonight. He’s only 37, but he looked like a only fraction of the fighter he was back in 2007, when he beat 7-foot giant Nikolay Valuev to win the WBA heavyweight title. I had Valuev winning that fight, but that’s besides the point. Chagaev doesn’t seem to be able to throw the same hard combinations that he did back then. If he had been in the ring with interim WBA heavyweight champion Luis Ortiz tonight instead of Browne, I think the ending would have come for Chagaev by the 2nd or 3rd round. Ortiz would have been hitting Chagaev at will with shots. I don’t know where Chagaev can go from here. I think Browne is going to be ordered soon to face Ortiz. Once that happens, I don’t see Browne winning that fight. Yeah, Chagaev can try and work his way back to get a shot at either the WBA regular or WBA super heavyweight titles, but I can’t see him beating the likes of Ortiz or Tyson fury. Unless Chagaev can get a rematch with Browne for his next fight, I don’t see Chagaev ever winning another world title again. He had a nice run in winning the WBA title twice, but I think it’s over with for him.

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