Marcus Browne Q&A: Local pride and a potential world title shot on the line in New York
By Ian Aldous: On Saturday July 15th, WBA, WBC and IBF top-ten ranked, Marcus Browne (19-0), faces Sean Monaghan (28-0) in a battle of undefeated New Yorkers closing in a world title fight. The fight will serve as co-main event of the Premier Boxing Champions broadcast from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, live on Fox in the U.S. Last week, the 2012 Olympian took some time to talk with me over the phone ahead of this pivotal fight.
IA: First of all, obviously you’re quite familiar with your opponent, Sean Monaghan. Tell me a little about him and the fact you’ve sparred together quite extensively previously.
MB: He’s a decent human-being, a cool guy. I know what he brings to the table. They can say what they want about (how) they didn’t show me everything in sparring. I don’t think you can spar somebody for like, forty-fifty rounds, and not show them everything, at least on one occasion. I know they’re not going to pull a rabbit out of the hat. He’s not a bad fighter, he has some things that he does good, so we have to consistently take that away from him and not allow him to do what he wants. Hopefully the night will be a great night in our favor, with no injuries.
IA: Was it a difficult decision to take the fight with him and put friendship to the side, or was it simply too good of an opportunity to turn down?
MB: Like they always say ‘friends and business don’t mix’. We got to put that to the side and stay focused. Of course, the ultimate goal is to become a world champion and he’s in the way of that. Friend or not, if my mum was in the next corner – I would have to knock her ass out too (laughs).
IA: He’d been preparing to fight for the WBC 175lbs championship against Adonis Stevenson, but negotiations fell through late in the day. Do you think there’s a chance he might take you lightly and be de-motivated by the disappointment of not getting the world title shot?
MB: Not necessarily, he knows what I bring to the table. If anything, he’ll be more motivated because he actually knows what’s coming as opposed to him wishing for a world title shot and not getting it. I’m not taking him lightly, I know he’s a hard worker, I know he comes in shape, so I’m taking all that into consideration and I’m training for him like he’s a world champion. Like I said before, I won’t be world champion without beating this guy. I got to do it in good fashion
IA: Having first-hand experience of being in the ring with him, what would be his biggest weakness?
MB: That’s a secret for me and my team that we won’t let out until fight night. If you interview me after the fight, I’ll tell you what his biggest weakness is!
IA: Lou DiBella has stated that he believes the winner will get a world championship fight, most likely Adonis Stevenson. Do you agree that it makes sense for this to be the case?
MB: Of course! Of course it makes perfect sense. Right now, the goal is to take care of business in two weeks. I’m so happy it’s two weeks away and that’s about it. Whatever Al (Haymon) says I have to do next – that’s what I have to do. I got to respect him because he got me this far.
IA: Last time out, you stopped Thomas Williams Jr., a man whom Adonis Stevenson also stopped, how would you compare how you dealt with him as opposed to how Adonis dealt with him?
MB: Styles make fights, Adonis Stevenson isn’t me and I’m not Adonis Stevenson. I guess he took care of him earlier, so if you want to say he did it in better fashion, then that’s what you can say. It all depends on what type of fighting you like. I’m not really here to compare myself and my work to other guys and how they took care of other guys. That in itself means nothing, you can just give yourself a false sense of reality and living your life comparing yourself to other fighters.
IA: You’ve impressively beaten several respected gatekeepers like Gabriel Campillo, Francisco Sierra and Cornelius White. Arguably your toughest assignment to date was against Radivoje Kalajdzic on PBC last year. How do you reflect on that fight?
MB: At the end of the day, that fight right there opened my eyes and it woke me up. You know we’re going to run that back one day. I just pray he stays undefeated (in the meantime) so we can run that back. Besides that, that showed me not sleep on nobody, and stay focused for however many rounds it is. I know I won the fight, but at the end of the day, the rounds I lost – I lost them bad. It’s a part of the business and it’s a part of boxing, that’s what happens at times. It made me who I am today. It got me extra focused for Sean Monaghan, no stones are unturned. We got a game plan that we’re implementing. It’s like an actor going and auditioning and rehearsing and rehearsing, so when things happen on fight night – it’s literally like a play that you’re performing. You audition and audition and see things time and time again, so there’s literally nothing new and it’s all on what you trained to see.
IA: You were part of the excellent 2012 U.S Olympic boxing team. Has seeing Rau’shee Warren and Errol Spence Jr. go on to win professional world titles inspired you to do the same?
MB: Of course. You know how it goes, man. Those are my brothers for life. No matter how much we don’t speak or whatever, those are my brothers for life. Just to see their success and see them reach the pinnacle of what every fighter wishes to be and be the man in their division. Guys like Rau’shee and Errol want to be undisputed champions, not just a champion with one sanctioning body. It’s that top dog mentality and that’s something that you can’t buy. It either has to be in you – or you just don’t have it.
IA: What were your thoughts on the Andre Ward/Sergey Kovalev fight? It’s highly likely you’re going to fight one of these guys one day!
MB: I called that, the way it happened. I had an interview with Lem Satterfield, shout out to Lem. What I said is exactly what happened. You don’t give somebody like Andre Ward a second chance. Andre Ward did exactly what I said he would do and make the fight work and beat him even more convincingly. People say ‘low blows, low blows’, there’s a link on youtube, it’s not an HBO link, it’s somebody in the crowd. If you watch that link, basically with no commentary you’ll see Sergey Kovalev giving up and coming up with excuses. Body language is everything in fighting and you see his body language change after the fourth or fifth round. When he was getting hit with legal shots right on the beltline, he started to bend over and stuff like that, you know what’s coming next. Andre just kept his composure and kept pounding his body. You can see he tried to land that big right hand a couple of times, it wasn’t there and he missed it – he just missed it. Then when he finally caught him with it flush, he still took his time and systematically did what every fighter is supposed to do: when you get somebody hurt – you go to their body.
IA: That’s why he’s the best.
MB: Right, that’s why he’s the best.
IA: Finally, tell me what’s going to happen in two weeks’ time.
MB: Sean Monaghan going to get broke the fuck up!
Marcus Browne vs. Sean Monaghan will emanate from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and serves as the co-main event to Omar Figueroa Jr. vs. Robert Guerrero on Saturday July 15th, live on FOX from 8pm ET/5pm PT. Tickets are still available from ticketmaster.com
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