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01 Feb 2018

Boxing's One To Watch: Marcus Browne is the light heavyweight division's dark horse

(Photo credit: AberroCreative)

In this new weekly piece we’ll be profiling a rising star, giving you their background and discussing where their potential path to the top of the sport...

'Sir' Marcus Browne

Marcus Browne isn't a name spoken often outside of hardcore boxing circles, but he may well be soon. Coming off of a first-round demolition job against Francy Ntetu, Browne stated he felt “reborn as a fighter”. This should immediately strike fear into the hearts of any light heavyweight on the planet right now.

Aged 27, the New Yorker’s record seems to suggest a smooth ride to where he is now. Almost any fighter in the States who is 21-0, including 17 knockouts, would be the recipient of plenty of hype as a future star, but not Marcus Browne. Despite his aggressive and exciting style, the combination of underwhelming competition and two controversial wins has done little to endear him to fans. 

His win against previously undefeated Radivoje Kalajdzic was seen by many boxing fans as a major robbery. Browne was gifted a knockdown wrongly, not penalized for a subsequent punch to his still-downed opponent and also penalized for excessive holding in the latter stages. To say he was lucky to keep his unbeaten record would be an understatement, but he has rebounded from that poor performance in impressive style. After his last win against Francy Ntetu, Browne admitted that he had attitude issues before the Kalajdzic fight, and that now he had been humbled. If he truly has refocused and is dedicated in the gym, he could test any of the top fighters in the division.

This being said, his next win, against Thomas Williams Jr, was also controversial due to him dishing out another cheap shot to his opponent whilst on the ground. However, the performance in that fight and each one since has been that of a future world champion. His slick movement, rare power and tricky southpaw style combine to create a fighter with monstrous potential. 

Light heavyweight dreams

The division he finds himself in only adds to the intrigue as Andre Ward’s retirement has opened up a huge gap to be filled at light heavyweight. The division comprises a whole host of older talented fighters; Adonis Stevenson, Sergey Kovalev, Badou Jack, Sullivan Barrera and Artur Beterbiev to name a few. Add in some younger up-and-coming stars, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Dmitry Bivol and ‘Sir Marcus Browne’ and this is a division that's ready for take-off. The recently announced May 19 bout between Stevenson and Jack could be just the tip of the iceberg.  

Where Marcus Browne ranks in that list of top light heavyweight is tough to say, even tougher to go on and project who he could beat if he meets them in the ring in the near future. He has plenty of choice when it comes to his path to a world title shot however, as he is ranked in the top ten by all four sanctioning bodies. 

Led by Al Haymon, what we can guarantee is that Browne will get his title shot, and soon. What we can’t say is whether he’ll take full advantage of it. Either way, this is a fighter that will have people tuning in and expecting fireworks. 

What do you expect of Marcus Browne in the next 18 months? Comment below...