By Adrian Warren
Lucas "Big Daddy" Browne has his eyes set on Australian boxing history after being endorsed by the WBA as the mandatory challenger to their heavyweight world champion Ruslan Chagaev.
Germany-based Uzbek southpaw Chagaev (34-2-1, 21 KOs) had to defend his title by November 11 against Fres Oquendo, the man against whom he won the vacant title in July 2014.
Sydneysider Browne, 36 (23-0, 20 KOs), was supposed to be the next cab off the rank to challenge Chagaev after the champion's first round KO of Francesco Pianeta in his initial title defence back in July.
However, Puerto Rican Oquendo successfully petitioned for a rematch, which was scheduled for October 17 in Germany.
Oquendo suffered shoulder damage while sparring which caused the cancellation of the fight.
He will undergo surgery on November 17 and isn't expected to be able to fight until next May at the earliest.
With Oquendo unavailable, No.3 rated Browne has been officially installed as the new mandatory challenger.
The bout will happen sometime early next year with europe and Australia among the regions in contention to host the fight.
"I'm looking forward to the fight and am wanting to make Australian history by being the first Aussie heavyweight to win a legit world title," Browne told AAP.
Chagaev, known as "White Tyson", outpointed Australian-based Kali Meehan in a title eliminator in Germany in 2010.
His only losses have been to WBA super champion Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin.
"I've seen Chagaev fight before and have been impressed," Browne said.
"He obviously has a lot of experience and won't be an easy fight in any way whatsoever.
"I've been training my backside off and am in great condition already and haven't really started a camp as yet."
Browne recently started training under Britain's Sydney-based former WBC super middleweight world champion Nigel Benn.
"Nigel is more of a motivation for me and is an awesome person to have in my camp," Browne said.
"I'm learning a lot and am only getting better."