Lucas Browne has scored a 10th-round stoppage of Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Chechnya, to win the World Boxing Association regular heavyweight title.
The Sydneysider showed enormous heart to win the belt from the title holder making his second defence, coming back from a disastrous sixth round in which he was cut and knocked down by the southpaw from Uzbekistan. The 36-year-old former MMA fighter and bouncer somehow survived the last 30 seconds of the round despite being wobbled a couple of times.
The Australian dug deep and landed several right upper cuts to take the seventh round in a stirring comeback.
Chagaev, 37, regained his composure and probably shaded the next two rounds but Browne sent shockwaves through the division when he caught Chagaev with a crunching right to the head inside the last minute of the 10th round, depositing the champion on the canvas.
Browne sensed an opportunity to finish the fight there and then, landing several more right-hand shots to Chagaev's head before experienced South African referee Stanley Christodoulou stopped the fight.
Browne, who improved his record to 24-0 with 21 KOs, showed he was much more than a big puncher as he delivered on his pre-fight promise to box and move. He pinged the champion with jabs through the early rounds and landed the occasional right hand in winning the so-called regular version of the WBA belt; Britain's Tyson Fury is the WBA's "unified" champion since he also holds the World Boxing Organisation title.
Chagaev, who was making his second title defence, now has a 34-3-1 record with 21 KOs.