‘Should have gone sooner’ – Tony Browne feels he should have ditched the vest earlier

Tony Browne believes he should have turned over earlier.

The Rathmines native signed with New York based Star Boxing Promotions earlier this month and told Irish-boxing.com it’s a move he should have made sooner.

“I think I should have turned over earlier,” he told Irish-boxing.com.

“Being a pro and having a pro career were always the goal. I was always a pro style fighter. When we would spar abroad, people always said to Steve [O’Rourke] ‘turn him over now’.

“From when I was 18 and 19 sparring lads of note in Manchester I always did ok and stood out in the later rounds. From then it was always inevitable I’d go pro.”

Browne had the chance to turn over and ditch the vest numerous times over the years.

However, elected against it, as he cased the Tokyo dream. After a close points reverse to amateur sensation Joe Ward in the National Elite Championship final, Browne went up to heavyweight in a bid to become Ireland’s main man at a weight.

That proved relatively successful, but when Ward turned over he returned to his more natural weight, only to be beaten by Thomas O’Toole in the quarter final stage of the the most recent seniors.

That reverse all but ended the 25-year-old’s Olympic hopes and he now turns over.

“Obviously the last couple of years have seen offers on the table. I don’t want to get into too much detail, but there has been interest from various places.

“Before lockdown I started to consider my future more, but there was uncertainty. No one knew what was happening with the Olympics. There was talk of another Senior Championship and there was always backdoor options if lads didn’t qualify at the first go. But look, as I said I should have gone earlier, the pros is just way more suited to me.”

Browne’s amateur career was impressive enough, but unfortunately for him it coincided with that of medal machine Joe Ward.

As a result he didn’t get a chance in many major international tournaments and never felt like one of the High Performance darlings. However, he seems to understand the reasoning and moves into the pro game with nothing but respect for the amateur set up.

“It just didn’t work out for me in the High Performance. That’s no ones fault. It just didn’t gel or work for me personally. If I had of been there from a young age maybe things may have been different or I could have adapted better. I am still proud of my amateur career and what I achieved. I do think that my best years in the Seniors came when I was fighting a more pro am style and I think that says a lot.”

It’s all about the pros now and the fighter rumoured to be debuting in Spain can’t wait to get going.

“I am buzzing to get started,” he adds.

“Everything about the pro game suits me better. I am better over the longer distance and at the slower pace. I can’t wait to get in there and break people down. I also can’t wait to fight in front of a crowd and all the trimmings that come with pro boxing, the ring walk, the shorts etc. I’ll draw a good crowd wherever I box, hopefully.”

Considering he was a final rival of Joe Ward, like Matthew Tinker, who is undefeated and New York based, Browne will always be linked to the Moate man.

It’s not a link he is keen to play up at present. You get the sense he doesn’t want to be name dropping before he establishes his pro credentials, but we had to ask and Browne found a way to answer.

“Obviously it would be great to have a big fight like that down the line, but for now it’s about getting going.

“Is that one for the future, if we are the same weight and both winning it makes sense. It could be a big title fight in Dublin. Although that goes for any Irish fighter or big fight. I am open to any big fights, but for now myself and the team are focused on getting my career up and running and getting my name out there.”

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