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Browne wants first title defence at home

  • Browne wants first title defence at home

    Australian boxer Lucas Browne wants to make his first heavyweight title defence in a local ring.

Australia's first heavyweight boxing world champion Lucas Browne wants to make his first title defence against Fres Oquendo in a local ring, but would be happy to face Britain's Tyson Fury in his home city of Manchester.

Browne returned to Sydney on Tuesday morning, just under 48 hours after his memorable 10th-round stoppage of Uzbekistan's Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Chechnya earned him the regular WBA heavyweight crown.

He is part of a tournament to decide the outright WBA champion, with that organisation currently recognising three different belt holders.

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Fury is the unified champion, Cuban Luis Ortiz is their interim title holder and Browne holds the standard world title after climbing off the canvas in the sixth round to dethrone Chagaev in memorable fashion last weekend.

Puerto Rican Oquendo, whose last bout was a majority decision loss to Chagaev in mid-2014, is the next opponent Browne must face in what is effectively a tournament semi-final.

"I don't think Oquendo has a big enough following to get a big pay-for-view thing over in America, so why not have it over here?" Browne said at Sydney Airport.

A win over Oquendo could potentially catapult Browne into a tournament final against Fury, who stunned the boxing world late last year by toppling Wladimir Klitschko, the dominant multi-title winning heavyweight of the past decade.

If Fury wins a rematch against Klitschko, he will face the victor of the Ortiz- Alexander Ustinov bout.

Browne 24-0 (21 KOs) has had seven of his last 13 fights overseas.

"I have no problems going over to the UK," said Browne who has fought five times in England, including once in Manchester.

"He (Fury) is from Manchester, my promoter Ricky Hatton is from Manchester... it just makes sense."

Browne is a late-blooming boxer who made his professional debut a few weeks shy of his 30th birthday and can foresee himself fighting for up to four of five more years.

"I'm quite fresh in that regard as I had a zero amateur career, so I haven't been beat around the head all these years, I can still hold a sentence," he said.

"I see myself going for at least a couple of years."

Browne previously dabbled in cage fighting and as a youngster tried athletics, soccer, basketball, baseball and rugby league.

As a teenager he played alongside future Parramatta legend Nathan Hindmarsh and was a western Sydney neighbour of another future Eels forward star, Nathan Cayless.

But boxing was never far from his mind.

"I've always wanted to be the heavyweight world champion, watching Mike Tyson," Browne said.

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