LUCAS BROWNE has placed Deontay Wilder on his hit list, but first he’s keen to square off with WBA champion Ruslan Chagaev.
The hard-hitting Aussie is rated at number seven in the world by the WBC and is a legitimate contender for the title Wilder won by outpointing Bermane Stiverne in Las Vegas at the weekend.
However, he is currently the highest available challenger with the WBA and feels a shot could be just around the corner as Chageav needs to make a defence quickly due to him already surpassing the organisation’s rules.
As the championship was vacant prior to Chagaev beating Fres Oquendo last July, he is obligated to agree a defence within 180 days, but more than 190 days have passed since and an opponent has not been named.
Only Bryant Jennings and Alexander Povetkin stand ahead of Browne in the WBA’s latest rankings (the number one spot is vacant due to Luis Ortiz failing a drug test). Jennings, however, is set to face Wladimir Klitschko in April, while Povetkin is going down the WBC route.
“Chagaev is already in breach of the WBA’s rules so he’s going to have to fight someone soon or get stripped,” Browne, 22-0 (19 KOs), said.
“Jennings and Povetkin are doing other things so I’m next in line for a shot and I’m ready to fight him now. I’ll take him on whenever he wants, wherever he wants.
“I’m ready for any fighter in the world and I think is going to be the year when Australia finally gets a world heavyweight champion of its own.
“My plan is to be beat Chagaev and then go after Wilder in a unification. Wilder did well to outbox Stiverne at the weekend, but let’s be honest, Stiverne hadn’t really beaten anyone himself other than Chris Arreola.
“Although I give Wilder a lot of credit and congratulate him on the win, I still think there’s a lot of questions to be answered and I honestly believe he’ll be on the canvas sleeping if I connect with his chin.”
Matt Clark, Browne’s co-manager, said: “We are hopeful that the WBA enforce their own rules and dictate to Chagaev that he is to face his highest available challenger, which is Lucas. He’s been knocking on the door for some time now and we believe that a fight with Chagaev will further electrify the heavyweight division.
“Lucas is prepared to face Deontay Wilder, who boxed well on the weekend. If Wilder wants to have his first defence in Alabama, Lucas Browne will happily go into the lion’s den. He fears no man.”