Marcus Browne has the sort of personality that will take him far, if his skills keep growing at the rate they have been. He mixes confidence and self-deprecation smoothly, as when I asked the 22-year-old Staten Islander if he behaved himself during the holidays or overindulged at the dinner table, sentencing himself to extra road work in the sub-freezing temperatures outside to carve off a spare pound or two ahead of his Feb. 9 bout at the Barclays Center.
Did you steer clear of second helpings during the holidays, Marcus?
“I’m a fat horse,” he said, chuckling. “No, I’m a gummy-bear fanatic. But it was cool. Making my home debut as a pro, in Brooklyn, it’s a great feeling. It will be motivating. It will push me to work harder in the gym.”
Browne, who repped the U.S. at the London Olympics and is signed to adviser Al Haymon and promoter Golden Boy, said he’s been getting great work at the Starrett City Gym, with fellow pros Danny Jacobs, Curtis Stevens and Will Rosinsky.
He doesn’t have a foe set for the Brooklyn rumble, but is hoping to get someone more seasoned than Ritchie Cherry, who he KO'ed in Round 1 on Dec. 15. Cherry was so rudimentary, Browne would like to see someone who can push him a bit more, forcing him to use new tricks of the trade.
Danny Garcia, a junior welterweight champ, headlines on Feb. 9 against Brownsville’s Zab Judah, the 35-year-old ex-champ who still has top-shelf skills, but whose mental makeup is questionable. Will focused-and-fierce Zab show up, or will the guy who drifts and doesn’t push himself meet Garcia? Could Zab regain a title against a 24-year-old young gun?
“This is hard,” Browne answered. “I’m a New York guy, I’m a lefty like Zab. I like Zab but the young kid, he got the dog in him. Zab says Garcia woke up a sleeping lion. And Zab will be fighting close to where he grew up, so you never know.”
Browne ended with a shout-out to the people of Staten Island still struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy: "It's out of the news, but people are still coming out of it. People are helping, but people tend to forget. We can't forget about these people."