Aussie power-puncher Lucas Browne reckons he can be the new Mike Tyson
As a boy, Browne watched Tyson blast his way to the world heavyweight championship – and the former cage fighter is enjoying a similarly explosive ring career.
Of his 17 wins, 15 have been by knock out and Browne aims his power punches at Richard Towers in a hotly-anticipated clash of unbeaten heavyweights in Hull on Saturday night.
The winner gets a crack at the Commonwealth belt, currently worn by David Price, and Browne is planning a Tysonesque performance as he closes in on his target to be the first Aussie to hold the title since Dave Smith was dethroned in 1917.
“I grew up watching Tyson,” said the 34 year-old from Perth.
“I have the same sort of power and want to be just as exciting as he was.
“I’m a cuddly bear outside the ring and will chat to anyone, but when the bell gloves I become an animal just like Tyson.”
Towers is the next to face Browne – and they know each other well.
Browne spent two months in Sheffield last year before Towers boxed Gregory Tony and the fight between them has fallen through twice.
“I know Richard has a past, but from what I know of him, he’s an absolute gentleman,” he said.
“He gave me lifts to the gym, took me shopping when the strap on the bag carrying my luggage broke and I had dinner at his house.”
Browne says they sparred “around 15 rounds” at the Ingles’ gym and added: “It was hard to deal with his reach to start with.
“I’m used to being the big guy, not the small guy and there were punches that I didn’t see. But when you get thrown into sparring like that, you either adapt or get knocked out and I adapted.”
Browne says Towers was impressed by his punching power and added: “I was only throwing punches at 70 per cent power and Towers knows that. He will feel my power when I’m wearing 10 ounce gloves and we aren’t wearing head guards.
“I’ve had four fights since Richard last boxed and that can make a big difference.
“I know he’s had good sparring with the Klitschkos, David Haye and Anthony Joshua, but he’s there as the opponent and they won’t have been taking it easy on him.
“He’s been getting blasted by world-class fighters and I’ve been winning fights in front of the crowds and cameras.”
Browne has boxed in Britain twice before, knocking out Hastings Rasani with a sledgehammer right hand, then dishing out the worst beating Paul Butlin has suffered in his career, and has been based at the Hatton gym in Manchester for the last two weeks.
He hasn’t just made a big impact on his opponents.
“I will probably have as many supporters as Richard on Saturday night,” said Browne. “Whenever I come over here the reaction is unbelievable.”