Paul Gallen 11-0-1 (6) destroyed former WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight champion Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne 29-3 (25) in a single round at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre in Wollongong, NSW, Australia on Wednesday night.
The 39-year-old former rugby league star battered Browne to the canvas in the opening round. The 42-year-old from Perth managed to beat the count but Gallen swarmed him again, quickly sending him to the deck again where he was counted out at the 1:55 mark.
“I said to myself all day and to my team that I’d knock him out in the first round,” the former Cronulla Sharks captain said after the fight.
“I tore my bicep ten weeks out from the fight so it’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.”
Gallen said he back his chin against the big-hitting Browne.
“I had confidence in my chin against a guy like this,” he said.
“The more I train and the more I spar in the sport of boxing the better I get.”
Gallen, who reportedly made $450,000 AUD for his efforts compared to $230,000 for Browne, was crystal clear on his motivation to box.
“I’m a prizefighter, I’m not here for titles,” he said. “I’m about taking fights that people want to see.
“I’ll be having as many fights as I can so I can cash in.”
Browne admitted he was hurt but insisted the loss did not spell the end of his career.
“I don’t know where exactly I got hit the first sort of shot, but basically I can’t hear out of my left ear,” he said.
“It just took the equilibrium off me and I couldn’t recover.”
There was a lot of smack talk from both sides in the lead-up to the bout, with Gallen insisting the animosity was real.
“It’s part of boxing, part of the promotion,” he said. “Me and Lucas genuinely meant it but when you talk to the bloke away from the cameras he’s not such a bad guy, which pains me to say now.
“I’m sure we’ll probably have a beer together one day but I’m really happy with that performance. To prove it to yourself and do against a guy like that, I’m very happy.”
It has been reported that Gallen earned $450,000 AUD, while Browne took home $230,000.
The excellent undercard was topped by a 10-round war between top super featherweight prospect Liam Wilson 9-0 (6) and tough-as-nails Francis ‘The Removalist’ Chua 8-2-1 (3).
Chua challenged Wilson before the fight to stand and trade with him and that’s exactly what he did, resulting in exciting two-way exchanges throughout much of the bout. Chua was cut over the right eye in round two while Wilson injured his right hand midway through the bout.
Wilson won the war but had to work very hard to do it in what was his toughest test to date. The scores were 98-92, 98-92 and 97-94.
Steve Spark 12-1 (11) moved up a weight class to challenge welterweight Jack ‘Brokeback’ Brubaker 16-4-2 (8) and proved the hype surrounding him is real.
The 24-year-old from Toowoomba got a little too keen in the opening round and was clipped by a right hand for a flash knockdown but was otherwise in control throughout the bout. The scores were 80-72, 77-74 and 77-74.
Super featherweight Bruno Tarimo 26-2-2 (5) continued his run of red-hot form with a unanimous decision win over Kye ‘Mr Frenzy’ MacKenzie 21-3 (17) by scores of 97-92, 97-92 and 96-93.
Welterweight Lenny Zappavigna 38-4 (28) returned from an almost three-year layoff to knockout Danny Kennedy 9-3-1 (1) at 1:13 of the third.