It’s a hell of a way to lose an “0,” but it happened. Marcus Browne dropped a technical decision to veteran and former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal tonight on FOX, winning the majority of the fight but being knocked down three times before a brutal clash of heads caused an early end to the bout.
Pascal (34-6-1, 20 KO) landed about half the punches or so that Browne (23-1, 16 KO) did, but the 36-year-old Haitian-Canadian picked up his biggest win in years thanks to a trio of knockdowns, one in the fourth and two in the seventh, and a truncated eighth round that went in his favor on the scorecards.
Judges had it unanimous, 75-74 for Pascal, which is also what BLH scored.
Browne, 28, pretty clearly won five of the first seven rounds, but lost three points because of the knockdowns, making things even going into the eighth. In that round, their heads clashed viciously, opening up a cut on Browne that poured blood instantly, forcing referee Gary Rosato to stop the fight. Browne went backstage to get medical attention before the scores were even read.
Pascal getting the eighth round was no guarantee — only 1:49 of the round was completed — but he did, and strangely enough, he won a fight where really, he only had two big moments on knockdowns. The third knockdown was mostly a leftover result of the second, both of them coming in round seven, and not the result of another big right hand.
With the win, Pascal picks up the interim WBA 175-pound title and the WBC “silver” light heavyweight title, so by hook or crook, hey, he’s back, he’s a contender again. It’s a big setback for Browne, and even admitting the goofiness of the loss, he really has only himself to blame. He got caught by two right hands that he shouldn’t have.
You might expect a rematch here, once Browne’s cut is healed and all that, and it would make sense. Pascal has already lost badly to WBA titleholder Dmitry Bivol, and twice to WBO titleholder Sergey Kovalev, and it looks like WBC and IBF titleholders Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev are headed for a unification. So a Browne rematch may well be the biggest fight out there for Pascal, and certainly Browne will want to run it back.