Australia’s Lucas Browne returned to winning ways a few days away, quietly despatching journeyman Matthew Greer in his homeland. The return fight saw Browne, 25-0(22) box for the first time since his heroic March 2016 win over Ruslan Chagaev, and the subsequent failed drugs tests.
Browne, who twice tested positive for illegal stimulants after the WBA title fight win, has always insisted he is innocent of any deliberate wrongdoing. Now back, his suspension lifted, the exciting slugger is targeting one man in particular: British contender Dillian Whyte; the man Browne has had a long-running Twitter argument with.
“In regards to the failed tests, I couldn’t have done anything about that,” Browne said in speaking with Sky Sports. “There was nothing I could have done. The second one in particular was a pre-workout I bought from the shops. I read the label and was trying to be as cautious as possible. Unfortunately, I came up with a failed test, so it was my fault. I would really like to see myself in a fight where I don’t like the other person. This is boxing, the best fights come out. I think the public want to see a fight between myself and (Dillian) Whyte, so I would love nothing more than to hurt him in front of his home crowd.”
Maybe Browne, usually a nice guy, wants to take out some of his considerable frustration on Whyte. Does Browne deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt as far as his two failed tests go? Maybe, maybe not. But Browne is far from the only big-name heavyweight who has failed a drugs test – with Shannon Briggs and Alexander Povetkin also doing so recently. Even Whyte himself was once suspended for taking, unintentionally, a banned substance.
Browne’s career now rolls on and a fight between he and Whyte would almost certainly provide fireworks. As a final eliminator, say, for a word title shot, this one would make sense and attract the fans, especially in the UK, which is just where “Big Daddy” has said he wants the fight to take place.