LUCAS "BIG DADDY" BROWNE says he's far from shocked with David Price's decision to vacate the Commonwealth heavyweight title.
The hammer-fisted Aussie won the right to contest the crown when he halted Sheffield giant Richard Towers last month.
He was hoping to square off with Price in early 2014, but the Liverpudlian's new promoters, Sauerland, yesterday confirmed that he'll be relinquishing the championship along with his British belt.
Browne keeps busy against old foe Clarence Tillman on December 13 and will be ready for his title opportunity in the New Year.
"I can't say I'm surprised that Price has vacated to be honest. If Tony Thompson can stop Price, I know I can too," Lucas, 18-0 (16 KOs), said.
"I have a fight in a weeks' time that I'm focusing on and I can't wait to close 2013 with a bang before beginning 2014 with that title fight.
"I'll leave all the negotiations for the Commonwealth title up to my management and Ricky Hatton. I know I'm in good hands and I'm on the right path. "
Matt Clark, Browne's manager, believes his charge's devastating destruction of Towers in Hull five weeks ago has helped influence Price's decision.
"I think it's a wise move by Price and his promoter to relinquish the Commonwealth title rather than have him stopped by Lucas," he added.
"Adam Booth is Price's new trainer. He was ringside for Lucas stopping Richard Towers and he presumably didn't like what he saw."
He added: "Lucas is the mandatory challenger and our goal for a few years now has been to see him become the first Aussie in over 120 years to become Commonwealth heavyweight champion.
"Hatton Promotions have been instrumental in helping this to almost become a reality".