by Keith Idec
LAS VEGAS – Marcus Browne is 22-0 entering his fight against Badou Jack on Saturday night.
Jack considers Browne’s record 21-1. The former super middleweight and light heavyweight champion feels Radivoje Kalajdzic beat Browne in their April 2016 bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Browne won their eight-rounder by split decision, but the outcome was widely considered controversial.
Browne scored a knockdown against Kalajdzic in the first round, though it appeared Kalajdzic went to the canvas after twisting his right ankle, not from a punch. Kalajdzic later landed a right-left combination that dropped Browne in the sixth round.
Browne tired toward the end of their fight and held Kalajdzic often. He also went to the canvas twice during the eighth round, but referee Tony Chiarantano ruled Browne went down both times because Kalajdzic pushed him.
Two judges – Waleska Roldan (76-74) and Alan Rubinstein (76-75) – scored their fight for Browne. One judge, Joseph Pasquale, scored Kalajdzic the winner (76-74).
Only Pasquale had it correct, according to Jack.
“Everybody knows he lost that fight,” Jack told BoxingScene.com, referring to Browne. “He came back, though. That’s not his fault that the other guy got robbed. Everybody knows he lost. That wasn’t even close.”
Kalajdzic (24-1, 17 KOs), who’s 3-0 since Browne beat him, couldn’t secure an immediate rematch with Browne. The Bosnian boxer, better known as “Hot Rod,” later had multiple hand surgeries, which caused a near 22-month layoff between bouts.
Browne went on to knock out Thomas Williams Jr., Sean Monaghan and Francy Ntetu in his three subsequent fights. In his last outing, Browne beat Lenin Castillo by 10-round unanimous decision August 4 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
Even though Jack thinks Kalajdzic beat Browne, the Stockholm native understands, to an extent, why their rematch didn’t happen.
“It’s business,” Jack said. “I didn’t rematch the guy that I lost to. We was gonna try to do a rematch the next fight. He asked for too much money. He’s not a world-class fighter, so I mean, we’re here to make money and make big fights.”
Derek Edwards caught Jack cold and knocked him out in the first round of their February 2014 fight in Verona, New York. Jack has fought former world champions in six straight fights, whereas Edwards (27-8-1, 14 KOs) has lost five consecutive matches, all on points.
Jack wants to avenge his loss to Edwards to soothe his pride. The 35-year-old Jack realizes, though, that it doesn’t make sense to fight Edwards again at this point in his career.
“Now I’m on a different level,” Jack said. “So now I’m gonna fight him in like a ‘ShoBox’ fight, instead of making millions fighting other great fighters? Also, I proved myself, that it was an accident. Anyone can get caught. Things happen in boxing.”
The 12-round battle between Jack (22-1-3, 13 KOs) and Browne (22-0, 16 KOs) will be one of four fights Showtime will televise as part of a pay-per-view telecast set to begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT ($74.99 in HD).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.