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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Prospect to watch: Marcus Browne

By Dan Rafael

The light heavyweight division is one of boxing’s hotter divisions.

It boasts Adonis Stevenson, whose electrifying one-punch knockout of Chad Dawson on June 8 to become the champion sent shockwaves through the 175-pound weight class.

There’s the Canadian super fight on tap between former champ Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute.

Titleholder Bernard Hopkins, the 48-year-old legend, is still doing his thing.

Sergey Kovalev has emerged as one of the most exciting contenders in the division in years and is poised to challenge titlist Nathan Cleverly on Aug. 17.

And the division will get another boost with the eventual arrival of super middleweight champion Andre Ward.

But looking down the road we might someday include the name Marcus Browne of Staten Island, N.Y., when gauging the interest in the light heavyweight division. Browne (4-0, 4 KOs) is a good looking prospect. He’s young (22), skillful and, thus far, crowd pleasing.

He boasts a very likable and engaging personality and he comes to the pro ranks with vast amateur experience, which is usually the foundation for top pros. Besides being a 2012 U.S. Olympian, Browne won two National PAL titles, a U.S. national amateur championship and was a three-time New York Golden Gloves champion.

In his first scheduled six-round fight, Browne will face Ricardo Campillo (7-6-1, 5 KOs) on Saturday night (Showtime Extreme, 7 ET/PT) at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, N.Y., where the arena has become his home base.

When Browne fights on the undercard of the Paulie Malignaggi-Adrien Broner welterweight title fight (Showtime, 9 ET/6 PT), it will mark his third fight in a row at the Barclays Center, where Browne has drawn good fan support. Both times he has fought there, he had a nice cheering section. As Browne progresses, that support undoubtedly will grow.

“My gym is 30 minutes away, so it’s home,” Browne said. “My family and friends can come and see me. It’s perfect timing that the Barclays Center opened up and that [promoter] Golden Boy is working with them. I can continue fighting there, putting butts in seats, because that’s an important thing. You have to put people in the seats.”

Browne said he had fan support when he fought at Madison Square Garden in the Golden Gloves and as a pro “it’s a bigger stage. It’s more of a show and now I can show the people my personality and have a lot of fun. When it comes to promoting, social media is a blessing to all of us. It’s the biggest free promotion you can get. I use that to my advantage, and my personality. A lot of these fighters don’t know how to speak to people and be nice to people and that’s what it’s about. I want to let people know that I am a regular human being, that I come from a humble beginning and that I’m fighting my way through life like everyone else.”

Browne comes off as confident about his future prospects, but not at all cocky.

He got good experience last month when he went to Las Vegas to serve as a sparring partner for Pascal, who was getting ready for Bute, before the bout was postponed because of Bute’s injury.

Browne, who has the backing of powerful manager Al Haymon, said he and Pascal sparred eight rounds over two four-round sessions and that it was an excellent experience.

“I’m fighting every month or two and getting professional experience and I went to camp with Jean Pascal. That was a great experience,” Browne said. “It was great for my confidence and to let me know where I’m at.”

Where Browne is at is in position as one of boxing’s most interesting prospects. He has the right connections, the right attitude and a lot of potential. And he does not seem to be in a rush, knowing that what he needs is experience.

“I got time on my side,” Browne said.