Happy to learn lessons the hard way – Tony Browne discusses close brawl

Forget the ‘we don’t lose, we learn’ adage, Tony Browne has flipped it somewhat taking an ‘always learn’ approach to pro boxing.

The super-middleweight has been adamant from day one he wanted regular tests, not just to show he is capable of passing them but so he can be schooled in his trade.

It’s a risky strategy and one some suggested nearly backfired in Spain last Saturday when Matteo Deiana gave Browne all the work he wanted over eight and impressed the judges enough to get within a round of spoiling the Dubliner’s perfect record

‘Super Fly’ is adamant the scoring in his second eight-round contest was closer than it should have been and doesn’t quite see the drama. He does admit he had to navigate some rough terrain against a game foe but almost rejoiced in that fact, as well as the cuts and bruises inflicted.

The St Michael’s Inchicore graduate feels he banked the kind of experience in just his fifth fight, that will stand him in good stead moving forward. He was pleased with the hard lesson and the fact it allowed him to show he has the inner weapons needed to cope with being dragged into a war.

“It was a great learning fight for me,” Browne told Irish-boxing.com.

“It’s a fight that will stand to me going forward. I’ve been there in the trenches and had an inside all-out war for eight rounds and won comfortably. I will watch it back with Steven [O’Rourke] and there is a lot of stuff we will take from it. I know there is a lot we can learn from it but it’s great to be in a position to win and to learn. I’m feeling myself becoming a true pro.”

The super middleweight Star Boxing prospect, who is scheduled to face unbeaten ‘who needs him’ Dutch fighter Chico Kwasi in Belgium in a matter of weeks, didn’t just learn about how to best adapt to a brawler, he learnt a lot about himself over eight tough rounds.

“It’s pro boxing, so sometimes it’s not going to be a boxing match it’s going to be a fight. That was a real fight and a fight or eight rounds. I had to dig deep. I showed a lot of balls, I stayed in there and showed what I made of. I learnt a lot in that fight and learnt about myself. I proved I have what it takes to dig deep if I need to and that I can fight in the trenches.

“Steven [O’Rourke] always said to me the pros are going to be different there are going to be nights where you will have to bite down on your gumshield and show your bottle. That was one of those nights, it’s good to have one of those ticked off so early in my career. I can box all night but I got to prove I can fight as well – and I am as tough as they come.”

While the 26-year-old Slater Sports Consultancy advised fighter didn’t hide the fact he found it tough on occasion, he was still surprised with the close scoring.

Fast-track advocate Browne felt he dealt with the pressure put on him and won six of the eight rounds clear.

“I thought the scoring was very poor,” he continued.

“He was coming forward with a lot of pressure and, okay, he was a strong, solid, tough competitor but he was missing a lot. I was blocking, slipping and sliding, and countering with crisp shots. I thought I comfortably had six of the eight rounds anyway,” Browne, who had a point deducted because his gumshield kept coming out, adds before admitting there were nerves come score confirmation time.

“At the end of the fight when they were due to announce the winner there was a long delay, which always hits the nerves a little bit but I would have been absolutely shocked if I wasn’t given the decision.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com