That sound you heard on Wednesday night wasn’t quite the thump of a bloated Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne crashing into the canvas after a forearm shock from Paul Gallen and four sausage rolls too many.
Well, not only that, anyway.
It was the familiar sound of another nail being hammered into the chest of professional boxing.
How many times do we have to say it? Sweet science is dead, but it just won’t lie down.
Lucas Browne (pictured) looks down after his defeat to Paul Gallen at WIN Entertainment Center on Wednesday night in Wollongong
Not as long as gullible gamblers are willing to line up, wave their hard-earned money over their heads and shout, “This time it will be different.”
You have to wonder if the “ fight fans ” who were so outraged by what they saw on Wednesday were the same ones who paid to see Jeff Horn or Michael Zerafa put Anthony Mundine to sleep in seconds.
Or maybe they were the ones who believed the fairytale that Gallen against Mark Hunt would be a fair boxing match.
Regardless, the cries of outrage from those who handed over their $ 59.95 donation to Foxtel rang long and loud after Gallen took less than two minutes to knock Browne down in Never-Never Land.
But what did they really expect, Thomas Hitman Hearns versus Marvelous Marvin Hagler?
This was an ex-soccer player with only the most rudimentary boxing skills fighting an ex-athlete who looked like he’d rather enter a big Big Mac meal with extra onions than a boxing ring.
Now you can’t blame Gallen. He tried his best to the best of his ability. Just as he did week after week as a generous but moderately skilled front rower, he trained hard, never stepped back, and kept on thrusting until the final whistle.
Browne, on the other hand, was a deadly shame.
Inevitably social media was alive with claims of ‘rort’, ‘fix’ and ‘took a plunge’ almost before referee Les Fear had graciously ended the so-called contest, but I can’t believe that’s the case.
Someone trying to lose on purpose would certainly have made it look more realistic, and let’s face it, Laurence Olivier couldn’t have captured the essence of the incompetence that Browne portrayed for nearly two minutes on his best day.
This was a legit boxer who had briefly held the WBA heavyweight world title.
Okay, so he had it stripped after failing a doping test, but it doesn’t matter.
He was reportedly a real boxer and Gallen, best described as a fighter boss, took him to the cleaners.
Paul Gallen (photo) celebrates his victory over Lucas Brown in Wollongong on Wednesday evening
Gallen, the ex-NRL star, started the fight well and quickly took total control, with the fight over against Lucas Browne within two minutes (pictured right)
So what happened? According to three-time world champion Jeff Fenech, it was a combination of two things: poor to nonexistent preparation and Father Time hitting him over the head with a baseball bat. (I would have added a third: don’t give a rat, but that’s just me.)
Fenech, who was ringside at Wollongong as part of the Main Event commentary team, says he knew Browne was in trouble as soon as he climbed into the ring.
I believe the fight was legit, but he certainly didn’t look energetic. He didn’t jump up and down, let’s put it this way, ‘he told me the morning after the fight.
There was that shot of him eating a sausage roll in the locker room. He says it was a fruit bar. I don’t really care what it was, it didn’t look right. That is not well prepared for me.
‘Preparation is everything. You have to be completely on your game both mentally and physically and from what I saw he wasn’t even close. ‘
Fenech said he had heard conflicting reports about Browne’s training regimen prior to the fight.
“There were all kinds of stories floating around,” he said. “Someone told me he wasn’t doing anything and then someone else said he took out six guys while sparring.
Ex-heavyweight world champion Lucas Browne (pictured right) has been accused of disrespecting his opponent Paul Gallen
Paul Gallen (pictured right) smiled after beating Lucas Browne by TKO during their Wednesday night fight in Wollongong on NSW’s south coast
It was all typical boxing bullshit, but one thing I’m sure about, Lucas had all the perks, size, range, experience, and he didn’t use any of them.
‘It’s so disappointing because he’s lost everything, especially in the eyes of the Australian public. It had been talked about having had a big fight with young Justis Huni, but who’s going to pay to see that?
‘It was not good for the sport. Here’s a guy who should have been one of our best of all time, getting hit by a (retired) soccer player.
“They weren’t huge punches with which Gallen hit him. It wasn’t like you saw his jaw push back, but they did a lot of damage and that’s in his head now. If he ever climbs into the ring again, he knows he could be hurt by anyone. ‘
It is now said that Gallen, 39, will take Browne’s place in a fight against 21-year-old Huni, which could earn him nearly $ 1 million.
A former soccer player who has never fought more than six rounds against a legitimate boxer who many believe could one day become Australia’s best ever heavyweight?
Who could ever pay to watch that? Just about everyone, of course.