On Sunday the 6th of March (Saturday the 5th in Chechnya), Lucas Browne made history when he defeated Ruslan Chagaev for the WBA Heavyweight title. While those that know boxing is a mess when it comes to belts, it can’t be argued that in defeating Ruslan, Lucas defeated a current champion who was defending his title for the 3rd time, and who was on a 7 fight winning streak.
Ruslan had only lost twice previously in his career, with one of those losses coming 6.5 years ago to Wladmir Klitschko, a heavyweight whose name will go down with the greats.
I was introduced to Lucas Browne a few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in the loop when his management were looking at a few relevant sponsors for him. Being a big boxing fan, I had followed his career for some time and was always curious about a guy who had virtually no amateur career and made a start with MMA. The fact Lucas was managed by a low profile, hardworking, but well respected guy called Matt Clark impressed me too. These kind of details are real keys to sponsors.
It’s an indication that building relationships and working with people over time are valued by the athlete, rather than always looking desperately to make a quick buck when its offered.
To look at, Lucas is a definition of a terrifying man. Big at 6’6, bald and a body covered in tattoos, you could easily mistake him for a mobsters collection man!
Lucas had been using sports supplements for some time and loved the fact our range offers him a product for so many purposes. Not long after we became his sponsor we invited him down to Tasmania to present some awards and trophies at the Tassie boxing league titles.
This was a great opportunity to see his character, Lucas was there all night, he genuinely enjoyed the boxing and spent virtually every spare moment signing pictures for kids, parents and groupies. This didn’t seem like a chore in the slightest and he left the night with a huge fan base on top of the love he already had when he walked in.
Lucas made another trip to Tasmania for the Tasmanian Health and Fitness expo where he gloved up to spar some local boxers for the crowd and present some awards again. It’s hard to appreciate the impact that these moments have on some of the young boxers, and the fact he is a role model for vulnerable youth in many cases makes this even more valuable.
To date, some of the boxers still regularly keep in touch with him via Facebook and are over the moon to receive personal encouragement from him, which is regular
Lucas also joined us at the Arnold Classic in 2015 where he was very popular. Between taking photos with fans and signing pictures, he worked as hard as everyone else, handing out samples and talking about our range. There was no special celebrity treatment requested or provided for him, his days were long and yet his needs were very modest.
The fact all this was coming from a man who was on the verge of a world title shot at one of history’s greatest prizes was very humbling. It’s no surprise that all of our staff and other ambassadors had nothing but great things to say about Lucas after the weekend.
While in Tasmania, Lucas and I spent much time talking about his life, the fact he is a very proud father and his desires for his future. I’m fortunate to own some land in the country and when I took Lucas there he was saying that one of his dreams would be to own some land which he could enjoy with his kids. There was nothing about extravagant lifestyles and crazy dreams, no pet tigers or private jets, simply about providing a decent life for loved ones and making the most of his career was what motivated Lucas.
In contrast to the ex rugby league stars and various footballers who arguably bring the sport down, Lucas’s approach is beautifully refreshing.
What many people don’t understand about boxing is the monetary rewards and how the system works. Due to no previous celebrity profile, in the last few years Lucas has probably made enough to box full time, but not a lot else. That said, in the years before that he would have required to work at least part time to pay his way. Boxing is a sport which rewards on the highest level but can pay very little below that point.
Pretty rough for a guy who is on the verge of being a world champion! Keep in mind, this is a sport where 1 fight can be the difference between setting yourself up financially for life and coming out broke, beaten and forgotten.
Lucas’ build up to Chechnya was not ideal, typical for boxing there were delays and Lucas would have only known for sure the fight was happening when he jumped into the ring.
Once the fight started however, it was clear Lucas had absolutely peaked at his best for this moment. There was more movement than ever, he was lighter on his feet and things were competitive from round 1. Having witnessed many Aussies coming in over matched especially in heavyweight fights over the years, Lucas was not going to another one who was under done.
Things were progressing well into the 6th with Lucas having some strong rounds, most viewers having things even at this point. Ruslan had one of his better rounds in the 5th before disaster struck for Lucas, as late in the 6th, Ruslan landed a huge left hook which put Big Daddy down.
It’s at this moment where people can go one of two ways, Lucas could have responded with a pure defensive shield which would have given Ruslan the confidence to overwhelm him, but instead he somehow kept his cool, used his distance and most importantly kept throwing enough punches to restrict Ruslans activity and confidence. Without a doubt, Lucas’ cool head made kept him alive in this round.
Lucas is undoubtedly a smart guy, and his calm, measured nature showed in the next round where he boxed better than he had done so far in the fight. He needed to clear his head and stay out of trouble, however at this stage he would have known there was likely only one way to win – by KO.
Lucas’ moment came not long after in the 10th round. With Ruslan tiring and Lucas fitness still strong, he had obviously recovered from the knockdown and was calculating a finish. After boxing backwards, Lucas timed a beautiful right hook which was perfectly ranged and executed.
Ruslan went down, recovered after a count, but this was his moment which Lucas wasn’t going to be denied. Watching Lucas patiently in the corner, he then turned it on and simply unloaded on Ruslan until it was called off. Australia had a new world champion and history was made – Lucas Browne seized his moment in the finest way.
Making history as Australia’s first ever legitimate Professional Heavyweight Champion is a legacy Lucas will always have. Congratulations to Australia’s newest world champ and someone who the team at Bulk Nutrients are extremely proud to support.
Lucas will no doubt enjoy some well-earned time off, but we can’t wait till he’s back in the ring onto even greater things!
You can check out the below video of Lucas in action.