DILLIAN WHYTE catapulted himself into world heavyweight title contention with a chilling sixth-round knockout over the previously unbeaten Lucas Browne at London’s O2 Arena.
The Briton has been linked with a bout against WBC champion Deontay Wilder in recent months and solidified his position as number one in the governing body’s rankings with arguably the greatest win of his career.
Whyte, who improved his record to 23 wins from 24 fights in the professional ranks, told Sky Sports Main Event: “I knew this was going to happen. Listen, Deontay Wilder, where you at? June – where you at, Wilder? Let’s go! I’m ready. Let’s get it on, no more excuses.”
Whyte dominated almost from the off and closed the show with a devastating left hand that knocked Browne out cold and left the 38-year-old Australian requiring oxygen.
Browne, who had 22 stoppage wins in 25 victories leading into this bout and held the WBA title a couple of years ago before being stripped due to a positive drug test, was tended to by ringside physicians before walking out of the ring to applause from the pro-Whyte crowd.
Browne looked distinctly out of shape as Whyte started with purpose, ending the first round with two bruising right hands that left his cumbersome opponent with a cut over his left eye.
Whyte was consistently first to the punch as he warmed to his task in the second and, while his opponent seemed to raise his levels in the third, it was the Londoner who was landing the more eye-catching blows.
Browne’s wound around his eye was starting to worsen and he continued to come off second best in almost every exchange as the fight progressed into the middle rounds.
The punches were beginning to take their toll but the finish will go down in Whyte’s highlight reel.
An overhand left sent Browne face first to the canvas, prompting referee Ian John Lewis to immediately wave off the contest 37 seconds into the sixth round.
Whyte, whose only defeat in his career came against British rival Anthony Joshua, added: “I’m number one, baby.
“I proved to everyone I’m world class. A lot of people were writing me off, a lot of people were giving Lucas Browne the edge, we kept quiet and we worked hard.
“I’m a good fighter but no one has seen it yet; I need the challenge and when the challenge is there, that’s when I rise.
“I’ve just knocked out a former world champion, that should tell you where I’m at.”
If a bout cannot be arranged against Wilder, Whyte would be open to a rematch against Joshua, who next week takes on Joseph Parker for the WBA, IBF and WBO titles.
Whyte added: “I’d like to fight Anthony Joshua another three, four or five times in my career.
“Me and him have chemistry and we bring a lot out of each other. If me and him step in the ring there’s something that just sparks. It’s like we’re two lifetime lovers!”