Marcus Browne edges Radivoje Kalajdzic via controversial decision
Marcus Browne won a split decision on Saturday against Radivoje Kalajdzic and was booed in his hometown of New York, an indication of the state of the judge’s decision.
Kalajdzic’s promoter Lou DiBella said he plans to file a protest with the New York State Athletic Commission over the decision and he may have a case.
Staten island’s Browne won by judges scores of 76-74 (Waleska Roldan), 74-76 (Joe Pascquale) and 76-75 (Alan Rubenstein) amid some strange circumstances. Browne scored a knockdown in the first round without landing a punch. Kalajdzic slipped and Browne landed a punch as he was on the canvas, lucky to not be penalized by referee Tony Chiarantano, who managed to make two mistakes on a single sequence since a punch didn’t cause the knockdown.
Though Browne (18-0, 13 knockouts) landed the occasional hard shot, Kalajdzic (21-1, 14 KOs) possessed the stronger chin and seemed to control the fight with his occasional power and somewhat awkward style.
“I don’t see how I lost,” Kalajdzic said. “I was the aggressor. He was holding and the referee should have deducted points. Either way, I want a rematch. “If he believes he could beat me again. He should give me the rematch. I want it as soon as possible.”
He was heartened by the crowd’s reaction. “The fans told me I won so hopefully I’ll get back on the big stage again. He has more amateur experience than me but what I showed is heart. If he feels like he beat me, give me a rematch. This time come to my home.”
Browne, a former U.S. Olympian, was dropped in the sixth round by a right hand, the first time he touched the canvas in his career. Browne also went went down twice in the eighth and final round but they were both ruled slips, though Browne seemed tired, his legs not under him.
Still, Browne thought he did enough to win, and he did have his moments when his power and athleticism were on display and he could show the potential that have made so many enamored of his talents.
“I thought it should have been unanimous,” he said. “I feel like he won two rounds at most. Every time he caught me, I always answered back.”
Of the knockdown Browne said he didn’t know what hit him.
“He caught me with something that grazed me, I didn’t even know what it was,” he said. “I walked into the punch and my corner was trying to get me to avoid it. I got up from it and got back into my rhythm.”
Browne did have his moments but they were infrequent. Browne scored with a straight left midway through the first that seemed to rock his opponent.
Browne also rocked Kalajdzic with a pair of counter lefts in the third round. Browne seemed to have the faster hands and legs than Kalajdzic, who though awkward, wasn’t able to land anything of significance up until then. While Kalajdzic landed the occasional jab, Browne landed he harder shots, such as a few counter lefts in the fourth.
That all changed when Kalajdzic landed a big right that buckled Browne and hurt him bad toward the end of the fourth round. Browne survived the round but he was forced to hold to recover and he seemed to be playing catch-up after that.
Browne landed a straight left in the fifth that bounced off Kalajdzic’s head. The difference to this point was that Kalajdzic seemed able to absorb Browne’s shots while Browne tasted Kalajdzic’s power and was hurt. Both boxers were warned in the fifth for holding.
Browne was dropped in the sixth round from a right hand and seemed hurt as he struggled to get up. Kalajdzic hurt Browne with another right hand toward the end of the sixth as Browne wobbled back to his corner at the end of the round.
Kalajdzic was cut under his left eye in the seventh. The referee stopped the round to inspect the cut and let it continue. Browne went down again in the eighth but it was ruled a slip. Browne went down moments later but again it was ruled a push. Either way Browne looked tired and unsteady on his legs.