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Fres Oquendo up next for Lucas Browne

Despite coming off a loss, Oquendo is the mandatory challenger for Browne's newly-won WBA belt.

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Lucas Browne's stunning knockout of Ruslan Chagaev last Saturday earned him the best win of his career, the WBA heavyweight title, and a date with forty-two-year-old Fres Oquendo. The fight serves as a semifinal to the WBA's seven-man heavyweight tournament, an attempt to unify the standard title, Super title (currently held by Tyson Fury), and interim title (currently held by Luis Ortiz).

Oquendo (37-8, 24 KO) has fought the likes of David Tua, Chris Byrd, and Evander Holyfield in his nineteen-year career, but has yet to lodge a single win over a top-flight heavyweight. He last fought more than a year and a half ago in a bid for the vacant WBA belt, losing a majority decision to Chagaev that snapped a five-fight winning streak. The two intended to fight again last October, with the winner taking on Browne, before Oquendo suffered a shoulder injury less than two weeks out.

Despite his myriad faults, Oquendo has not been stopped in a decade, which would make for a decent feather in Browne's cap if he manages to put him away. It'll certainly be an easier task than whoever winds up waiting for him on the opposite side of the bracket.

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