Heavyweight Lucas "Big Daddy" Browne's aim to is to become the first Australian to win a heavyweight title, and to listen to him, it's clear he is cutting no corners as he prepares for his opportunity.
He will get his chance against secondary titleholder Ruslan Chagaev on March 5 (AWE) at Akhmat Arena in Grozny, Russia.
"I've never sparred better than this," Browne said after a recent sparring session that was open to the media. "I'm so pumped for this fight that I've been able to blast my way through each session. Nothing will stop me from winning the WBA [regular] world title. I'm going to bring my own brand of violence into the ring versus Chagaev and won't stop until he's out. I've never liked going to the judges because when you knock someone out there can be no discussion as to who won the fight."
Browne has been the mandatory challenger since last February but has had to wait for the shot because Chagaev was due to face Fres Oquendo in a rematch in October in Kiel, Germany. But when Oquendo suffered a serious shoulder injury two weeks before the fight, it was called off, and the door opened for Browne to get the next shot at Chagaev, who holds a second-tier belt to world champion Tyson Fury.
Whatever the status of the belt he is fighting for, Browne said he will be ready.
"I think people are going to be surprised when I turn up in such tremendous shape and I'm going to do things in there that people haven't really seen me do before," Browne said. "I've been getting some great advice from the likes of Larry Holmes, Joe Bugner, Riddick Bowe and Hasim Rahman. Having all their support really boosts me. I'm ready to be Australia's first world heavyweight champion."
While awaiting the title fight, Browne (23-0, 20 KOs), 36, who is promoted by former two-division world titleholder Ricky Hatton, fought only once in 2015, scoring a ninth-round knockout of journeyman Julius Long in August. But manager Matt Clark said he has made up for the inactivity with hard work in training.
"In the past, Lucas has had to go easy on sparring partners because it's really hard to get decent sparring in Australia," Clark said. "This time, specific sparring has been brought in and Lucas hasn't had to hold back. At times, it has been absolutely brutal. Lucas is at a career-best weight. His preparation has been perfect. He's focused on Chagaev and he's being very destructive in the gym. All his hard work is going to pay off."
Chagaev (34-2-1, 21 KOs), 37, a native of Uzbekistan who is living in Germany, will be defending his belt for the second time. He scored a controversial majority decision win against Oquendo to claim the vacant belt in July 2014 in Grozny and then was idle for a year until making a defense on July 11, knocking out Francesco Pianeta in the first round, in Magdeburg, Germany.