By Jake Donovan
Lucas Browne remains unbeaten after scoring an eighth round stoppage over late sub Travis Walker in their main event Thursday evening in Flemington, Australia.
The bout was your typically awkward heavyweight affair. Four knockdowns were scored on the night, yet much of the bout still managed to feature large stretches of staring and roaming with few punches thrown.
Both fighters managed to hurt the other almost every time they elected to let their hands go. Walker struck first, scoring a flash knockdown in the opening round. A wild overhand right caught Browne behind the ear, causing the Aussie to lose his balance and touch his glove to the canvas.
The house fighter picked up the pace in round three, at which point he never relinquished control.
Walker came into the contest on very late notice, accepting assignment after England's Richard Towers was forced to withdraw after failing to secure a travel visa. The American journeyman bore the look and conditioning of a replacement, but still fought as he always does. A strong start was quickly followed by the rapid decline.
Befitting of his "Freight Train" nickname, Walker's in-fight collapse came right on schedule. A love tap midway through the third round forced him to the canvas for the first of three times on the night.
Browne enjoyed his best round of the fight in the fifth, complete with another knockdown. This one came courtesy of a jab and straight right that landed flush on Walker's suspect chin, putting him down but not quite out. A far more damaging sequence came in round six, when Walker was floored again and barely up at the count of nine.
A lesser ring official (England's Phil Edwards, for example) would have used the moment to decide that the fight had gone on long enough. Instead, referee Ignatius Missalidis chose to let them fight on. His decision proved wise, as Walker came up swinging, briefly stunning Browne with a right hand as the heavyweights lumbered into the ropes.
Both fighters were spared the canvas or additional punishment in a relatively competitive 7th round. However, Walker decided somewhere between the conclusion of the round and the start of the 8th that he was finished for the night.
With that came the official of the fight being stopped at 0:02 of round eight.
Browne advances to 17-0 (15KO) with the win, though not particularly impressive in his performance or his appearance. The 34-year old came in at a fleshy 264 3/4 lb, nearly 10 lb. heavier than his April points win over badly faded former three-division champ James Toney.
Walker suffers his fourth straight loss, falling to 39-11-1 (31KO).
Jake Carr and Serge Yannick provided a tough act to follow for the main event, going to war for 10 rounds in their super middleweight. Carr, in just his 5th pro fight, was forced to fight like a veteran every step of the way, but dug deep in the end to pull out a close unanimous decision.
Scores were 97-94, 96-94 and 96-95 in favor of Carr, who employed an effective body attack early and overcame several anxious moments to rally late.
Blake Capallero barely preserved his unbeaten record, winning a majority decision over Daniel McKinnon (21-7-1, 9KO) in their 12-round light heavyweight contest.
An even tally of 114-114 was overruled by scores of 118-111 and 116-112 in favor of Capallero (17-0-1, 6KO), who picks up his third win of 2013.
In the televised opener, Daniel Smith won a four-round decision over Henry Torres (1-1, 0KO) in their super middleweight tilt. Scores were 40-36 (twice) and 39-37 in favor of Smith, who was making his pro debut.
All of the above bouts aired live on Australia Fox Sports.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox