Blue-chip prospects have to pass a few tests before graduating to the world level and light heavyweight upstart Marcus Browne just aced another one in Francy Ntetu, winning by knockout in just over two minutes (2:15 of Round 1).
Referee Arthur Mercante had to separate the two fighters early after tangling each other up.
Browne began to circle his prey, avoiding some light punches from Ntetu. One minute in, the American leaped in with a left hand to brush his man to the ropes. He followed the attack up with a quick succession of right and left hands to drop Ntetu to his knees.
The Canadian transplant attempted to get up but fell over to his face. He eventually beat the 10-count. But wasn’t interested in anymore punishment and immediately backed himself into the neutral corner—waiting for the inevitable.
Another flush left hook from Browne slammed into his helpless opponent. Ntetu raised his gloves in desperation before wrapping up Browne. The American pried himself away and was ready to continue his assault until the referee inexplicably jumped in between the two.
The fight wasn’t over. Browne got back inside of Ntetu and stuffed a right hand into his man’s face and just when Ntetu tried grappling again, referee Mercante stopped the fight for good.
The CompuBox ShoStats were telling. Ntetu didn’t land a single one of the eight punches he threw. Brown landed nearly half of his 40 total shots, all of which were counted as power punches (18 of 30).
The stoppage extends Browne’s record to 21-0, with 16 knockouts thanks to his fine hand speed and big power.
Ntetu has spent most of his career in the super middleweight division. In 2016, the Congo-born slugger pushed WBC world titleholder David Benavidez to his limit before an criminally early stoppage.
The fight with Browne was stopped a bit early too. But Ntetu was clearly out of his depth. At 35, there might not be another opportunity for him.
Browne, still 27, seems like a real player at 175 pounds. He’s stringing together a nice ledger, piling up wins over fairly recognizable mid-tier fighters, namely world title challenger Thomas Williams Jr. and Gabriel Campillo, the division’s top gatekeeper for almost a decade.
The 2012 Olympian rates in the Top 10 of all four major sanctioning bodies and made his intentions clear after the fight.
“I need a world title shot,” Browne said. “I’m ready to take on any of the champions. I don’t have any preferences.”
Browne, though, must have some idea of who he wants to challenge for a championship. Last November, he pulled out of a WBC mandatory title eliminator with Ukrainian bruiser Oleksandr Gvozdyk. That along with a lucky decision victory over Radivoje Kalajdzic in 2016 will continue to haunt him until he proves his power can hang with the pantheon of the weight class.
Blowing away someone like Ntetu is a step in the right direction.
Header photo: Marilyn Paulino, RBR Boxing