Dillian Whyte, Lucas Browne set for heavyweight clash on March 24 in London
Another intriguing heavyweight fight is on deck for the first quarter of 2018.
It was announced by Matchroom Sports promoter Eddie Hearn on Thursday that Dillian Whyte will meet Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne on March 24 at The O2 in London.
The heavyweight tilt should position the winner for a meaningful fight later in 2018. After all, Whyte, whose only loss came to Anthony Joshua in 2015, is THE RING’s No. 8 heavyweight, and before Browne was popped for PEDs, he was RING-rated, too.
“I can’t wait, I hate Lucas Browne and I want to hurt him,” said Whyte, who engaged in a war of words with Browne on social media last year. “He’s said some nasty things and he’s going to have to pay for them.
“I don’t think he really wanted this fight. A deal was in place before, then he started to try and change the terms. He kept delaying things after we gave in to his demands and started saying there was a fight in America he was chasing.
“We’ve bent over backwards and up till now he’s been more interested in making excuses than taking the fight. It’s been frustrating but we’ve finally got over the hill now so let’s go.”
Whyte (22-1, 16 knockouts) debuted in the U.S. with a third-round stoppage of Malcolm Tann in August, and then returned to Europe with a decision victory over Robert Helenius.
A win over Browne, and the Jamaica native is in line for a rematch with Joshua, his bitter rival whom he rocked in their first meeting.
Browne (25-0, 22 KOs), too, can ensure bigger paydays with a victory over Whyte. The 6-foot-5 heavyweight from Australia was rising through the ranks when he failed a second drug test in November 2016, this time for the banned substance ostarine (he previously was found with clenbuterol in his system for his win over Ruslan Chagaev.)
The 37-year-old has fought only once since that victory, a second-round KO of Matthew Greer, a fighter with a losing record, in June.
The second failed PED test scrapped a bout with Shannon Briggs, and now Browne steps up to the toughest challenge of his career.
“I’m genuinely looking forward to coming over to the UK again and bashing Dillian,” Browne said. “If Helenius and Dereck Chisora hurt him, wait until he feels how I hit. I don’t like anything about him. He’s a loud mouth and I want to take his head off.
“I have absolutely no fears about coming to London and facing Dillian. After you go to Chechnya to fight, nothing else compares. I’ve fought in England five times already and love fighting there. I know if I stop Whyte impressively I’ll be getting another world title shot.”
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger