Disturbing rumours of Lucas Browne failing to condition himself for a six-round war appeared to be on the money after the former world champion was knocked out by Paul Gallen on Wednesday night.
Browne angrily denied the fight was fixedbut his lacklustre performance saw boxing commentators, including Aussie legend Barry Michael, telling him to quit.
The 42-year-old was humiliated by Gallen in a first round knockout that lasted just 1min and 55secs.
Gallen was fierce, quick, powerful and clinical. The former NRL star’s supreme performance dirties the water in assessing just how bad Browne was.
Widely known as one of the nice guys of Australian boxing, Browne was knocked down inside the first minute seconds after Gallen landed a power shot to the top of Brown’s right temple.
He could only survive another minute before a flurry of combination punches sent him crashing forward to the deck again.
He was far from desperate as he attempted to get back to his feet as the referee counted him out. Then it was over.
Questions surrounding the contest were already burning after Michael revealed during the Main Event broadcast that there were rumours Browne hadn’t been training hard and was relying on his knockout power for an early stoppage victory.
It emerged as a key topic of discussion in the pre-fight predictions – and it was again the big topic of conversation after the fight.
“What Barry’s been hearing and what is interesting that’s been around the whole story here is that Browne hasn’t been training that hard because he’s quite comfortable that he’ll get the six rounds out, whether it is a mistake or not,” boxing commentator Paul Kent said.
It’s why Michael predicted Gallen would win the fight if it went the full six rounds.
In the end Gallen only needed two minutes. Michael said Browne should never fight again.
“I did hear rumours about his training camp that he wasn’t looking good,” Michael said.
“But I still did believe that with his experience and punching power… but I admit I got that totally wrong.
“He showed no resilience whatsoever. His resilience is gone. When a fighter is shot, a fighter is shot. Lucas Browne should never consider venturing into a ring again.
“I think it should be (the end). How’s he going to come back from that?”
Kent said: “I didn’t expect Lucas Browne to go down so easily. I didn’t see a clear concussive punch… For a flurry of punches to put him down in the first round surprises me.”
While Aussie sport commentators flocked to social media to label the fight a “farce” and to wave Browne into retirement, the beaten 42-year-old fronted a press conference to claim he has more fights left in him.
Browne is still scheduled to fight rising star heavyweight Justis Huni, before the Aussie travels to Japan to compete in the Olympics as an amateur in July.
Everyone in his camp and everyone in Australian boxing will be trying to save the former WBA heavyweight world champion from himself and force him not to accept the fight.
Gallen said after the fight he was not surprised that his overhand shot to Browne’s temple ended the fight.
Gallen now has Australian boxing at his feet with fight offers coming from everywhere. Even his dream showdown with Sonny Bill Williams is back on the table.
For Browne, though, there is nothing on the horizon other than retirement.