Former world title challenger Tommy Browne is confident that his second tilt at a world title will be successful when he challenges Australian based Indonesian Chris John for his WBA featherweight title at Panthers World of Entertainment in Penrith, Australia on August 7th on a Blaster Promotions card.
The 22-year-old from Campbelltown in south western Sydney believes that pressure will be the key to annexing the world title on Sunday. And at five-foot-eleven Browne will enjoy a substantial height and reach advantage over the 25-year-old ‘Indonesian Thin Man’, who is quite tall for a featherweight in his own right at five-foot-seven and a half.
“I don’t think he’s fought any aggressive fighters,” said Browne, 18-3-1 (7). “Most of the guys he’s fought have tried to use a boxing style on him, so maybe that could be a weakness. I’m going to go out there in the first couple of rounds and use my better reach to box him, but if that’s not working I’m going to take the fight to him and be aggressive.”
Browne’s trainer Todd Makelin, a former Australian bantamweight champion who lost a fight to Filipino firebrand Manny Pacquiao in 1999, is coy when asked about John’s weaknesses.
“He’s a good boxer and a good counter puncher,” appraised Makelin. “It’s pretty hard to say what his weaknesses are, but we’ll know on the night. You can sit down and watch millions of tapes but it’s different when they fight. Different fighters make for different styles.”
In January of this year Browne made a huge step up in class when he travelled to Seoul to challenge reigning WBC featherweight champion Injin Chi for his title in the Korean mauler’s backyard. Despite being a massive underdog Browne impressed those at ringside with his guts and tenacity en route to losing a spirited twelve round decision.
It was a massive learning experience for Browne, who now has an increased confidence in his own ability after proving that he can mix it with the best.
“Being in the ring with a world champion showed me that I’m at that level where one day I can be a world champion myself,” explained Browne. “To go twelve rounds with him I learned a lot about believing in myself and hopefully that will help me when I fight John.
“Chi is very aggressive. He didn’t give me time to use my reach which is what we trained for and planned to go out there and do. I rated Injin Chi as one of the best featherweights in the world and to be able to go twelve rounds and put up a tough fight against him it will definitely help me against John when I fight him.”
Makelin agrees that Browne’s self-belief has skyrocketed since the Chi fight and says that fight fans can expect a new and improved version of Tommy Browne on Sunday afternoon.
“Tommy is at that level of fighting now after fighting Injin Chi,” said Makelin. “That’s what cost him the fight against Injin Chi, not knowing that he belonged in that league. He’s been there and done it now so he knows what it takes to beat a champion.
“He’s learned to believe in himself now. As much as I’ve always told him that he was at that level, he now believes it himself. If he believed in himself when he fought Chi he probably would’ve walked away with the title over there. He has had the experience now and he knows he just has to go out there and prove it again.”
Browne will certainly have his work cut out for him against the undefeated John, 35-0-1 (19), whose sole blemish on his record is a four round technical draw with Jose Rojas after an unintentional clash of heads brought a premature end to their bout in December last year. Since defeating Oscar Leon for the interim version of the WBA title almost two years ago, John has successfully defended the title three times against Osamu Sato, Derrick Gainer and the aforementioned Rojas.
But Makelin isn’t concerned about John’s credentials.
“It will be a new Tommy in there,” said Makelin. “Fight fans will see a very hungry kid who wants the title. It’s here in our country so we’re going to take it to him and give it to him. I keep telling Tommy that even though it’s here it doesn’t mean that we’re going to win easy. At the end of the day there’s no advantages, you’ve still got to prove it and shut the fight out. We’ve got to try and win every single round. You can’t have it close because it’s going to go in his favour being the champion. It makes it easier in some ways but as I’ve told Tommy, you’ve still got to win it.”
Browne knows that he’ll have to be at his best to defeat John, but he is relishing the opportunity to prove to fight fans that he truly belongs at the elite level.
“John is a very smart boxer with very good handspeed and just a very clever boxer,” said Browne, “so I think it will be a very entertaining fight.”
The undercard will feature some interesting match-ups, including an official eliminator between IBF #5 Lovemore Ndou and IBF #9 Cesar Bazan of Mexico, world ranked junior middleweight Daniel Dawson rematching with rugged Penrith local Josh Clenshaw, welterweight Chad Bennett squaring up against Kiatchai 13 Riantower of Thailand, middleweight Robert Medley tackling Thailand’s Saiseelek Sakseepueng and Adam Vella up against Paul Le at middleweight.
The card will be televised by Sky Channel in pubs and clubs with the undercard starting at 1:00pm.
© Copyright / All Rights reserved: Doghouse Boxing 1998-2005