AUSTRALIAN heavyweight Lucas Browne will end a 15-month hiatus tomorrow night when he fights journeyman Matthew Greer in Punchbowl, New South Wales, Australia.
The 38-year-old earned the biggest win of his career in March of last year when he came from behind to stop Ruslan Chagaev in Russia to win the WBA’s ‘regular’ heavyweight title.
However, it then transpired that he had tested positive for banned substance clenbuterol, resulting in a six-month suspension and the WBA stripping him of their title.
117kgs and ready to rock pic.twitter.com/IrxiFSWmKY
— Lucas Browne (@lucasBrowne) June 1, 2017
He proclaimed his innocence and fought his case. The WBA ruled that it was unlikely he had intentionally ingested the substance and ordered him to fight Shannon Briggs for the title previously stripped from him.
Browne, 24-0 (21), also enrolled in the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program (CBP), which includes voluntary testing, but he flagged up another positive test, this time for ostarine. At the time he claimed he had signed up for the program to prove he is a clean fighter. He was not ranked in the WBC’s top 15 at the time, meaning he was under no obligation to sign up to the CBP.
He maintains his innocence but now intends to put that period of his life behind him and push on with his career. That starts with a warm-up fight against Greer, 16-20 (13), who has not won a fight since 2013. The 40-year-old American has been stopped by the likes of Deontay Wilder, Hughie Fury, Briggs, Andy Ruiz Jnr and James Toney.
Given his previous high ranking with the WBA, Browne will perhaps pursue that route again. Anthony Joshua currently holds the full title while Briggs’ scheduled bout for the ‘regular’ belt against Fres Oquendo was recently scrapped when he failed a drug test.