Tony Browne has finally given up on his Olympic dream and will turn pro once boxing resumes.
Browne has been one of the more high profile amateurs since the class of 2016 began to migrate toward the paid ranks, but has proven to be one of the more unlucky punchers too.
He populated a weight dominated by one of Ireland’s greatest ever amateurs Joe Ward. That severely limited Browne’s opportunities, but to his credit he always spoke about how he could dethrone the Moate BC fighter and hung around at the weight.
After suffering what some argued was a controversial National Elite final defeat at the gloves of the decorated Ward in 2017, a disgruntled Browne elected to explore his Olympic options at heavyweight.
Having spent some time growing into the weight the St Michael’s Inchicore fighter thought he won his first National Senior title in early 2019, only for it to be taken from him five weeks later as the decider was retrospectively awarded to Ken Okungbowa.
Long time rival Ward then turned over out of the blue after opening the pathway to Tokyo 2020 qualification at the Dubliner’s old weight.
The 25-year-old moved down for the most recent ‘seniors’, but it was Emmett Brennan who emerged victorious from a talent packed pool – and the Glasnevin puncher was thus selected for the Olympic qualification tournaments.
As a result High Performance team member and Irish International Browne has elected to turn pro.
Irish-boxing.com believes the Rathmines native has made the decision, but will wait for boxing to resume to make it official.
Like stablemate Tiernan Bradley, Irish-boxing.com understand Browne was scheduled to debut on the Ring Kings card in May and Waterford – meaning it’s safe to assume he would debut on any rescheduled card.
The former amateur light heavyweight and heavyweight is expected to enter the mix at super middleweight.
Browne will remains under the tutelage of long term trainer Steven O’Rourke and will work out of St Michaels Inchicore alongside Craig McCarthy, Victor Rabei, Paddy Nevin, Ryan O’Rourke, Bradley and the like.
There has been no news of a promotional agreement although there has been faint rumour of American interest.
The clean cut and marketable Browne shouldn’t find the transition to the pros too difficult considering he has been based in what is essentially a pro gym for some time now.
The 25-year-old has also been a regular sparer of pros of note and worked with Luke Keeler ahead of his recent world title fight.
Browne joins Bradley, Edward Donovan, Christian Preston, Fearghus Quinn, Paul McCullagh, Ryan O’Rourke, Alan O’Connor, Jason Harty, Alan O’Reilly and James McGivern as fighters to have turned over in 2020.