That sound you heard on Wednesday night wasn’t really the thud of a bloated Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne crashing to the canvas after one Paul Gallen forearm jolt and four sausage rolls too many.
Well, not just that, anyway.
It was the familiar noise of another nail being hammered into the coffin of professional boxing.
How many times do we have to say it? The sweet science is dead, but it just won’t lie down.
Lucas Browne (pictured) looking dejected after his defeat to Paul Gallen at WIN Entertainment Centre on Wednesday night in Wollongong
Not as long as gullible punters are prepared to line up, wave their hard-earned cash above their heads and shout, ‘This time it’s going to be different’.
You have to wonder if the ‘fight fans’ so incensed by what they witnessed on Wednesday were the same ones who paid to see Jeff Horn or Michael Zerafa put Anthony Mundine to sleep in a matter of seconds.
Or maybe they were the ones who believed the fairy-tale that Gallen versus Mark Hunt would be a fair dinkum boxing bout.
Either way the cries of outrage from those who had handed over their $59.95 donation to Foxtel came long and loud after Gallen took less than two minutes to bludgeon Browne into Never-Never Land.
But really what were they expecting, Thomas Hitman Hearns versus Marvellous Marvin Hagler?
This was an ex-footballer with only the most rudimentary boxing skills fighting an ex-athlete who looked like he’d much rather be climbing into a large Big Mac meal with extra onions than a boxing ring.
Now you can’t blame Gallen. He did his part to the best of his abilities. Just like he did week after week as a big-hearted but moderately skilled front rower, he trained hard, never took a backward step and kept on punching until the final whistle.
Browne, on the other hand, was a dead-set embarrassment.
Inevitably, social media was alive with claims of ‘rort’, ‘fix’ and ‘took a dive’ almost before referee Les Fear had mercifully put an end to the so-called contest, but I for one can’t believe that was the case.
Surely someone trying to lose on purpose would have made it look more realistic and let’s face it, Laurence Olivier on his best day couldn’t have captured the essence of ineptitude portrayed by Browne for almost two minutes.
This was a legitimate boxer who had briefly held the WBA world heavyweight title.
Okay, so he had it stripped after failing a doping test, but that is beside the point.
He was allegedly a real boxer and Gallen, who could best be described as a backstreet brawler, took him to the cleaners.
Paul Gallen (pictured) celebrates defeating Lucas Brown on Wednesday night in Wollongong
Gallen, the ex-NRL star, started the fight well and quickly assumed total control, with the bout over inside two minutes against Lucas Browne (pictured right)
So what happened? According to three times world champion Jeff Fenech, it was a combination of two things: poor to non-existent preparation and Father Time hitting him over the head with a baseball bat. (I would have added a third: not giving a rat’s, but that’s just me.)
Fenech, who was ringside in Wollongong as part of the Main Event commentary team, says he knew Browne was in trouble as soon as he climbed into the ring.
‘I believe the fight was legitimate, but he certainly didn’t look energetic. He wasn’t jumping up and down, let’s put it that way,’ he told me the morning after the fight.
‘There was that shot of him eating a sausage roll in the dressing room. He says it was a fruit bar. I don’t really care what it was, it wasn’t a good look. To me that’s not preparing properly.
‘Preparation is everything. You have to be totally on your game mentally as much as physically and from what I saw he wasn’t even close.’
Fenech said he had heard conflicting reports of Browne’s training regime prior to the fight.
‘There were all kinds of stories floating around,’ he said. ‘Someone told me he wasn’t doing anything and then someone else said he’d knocked out six blokes in sparring.
Ex-world heavyweight champion Lucas Browne (pictured right) has been accused of not respecting his opponent Paul Gallen
Paul Gallen (pictured right) was all smiles after defeating Lucas Browne by TKO during their bout on Wednesday night in Wollongong on the NSW south coast
‘It was all typical boxing bullshit, but I know one thing for sure: Lucas had all the advantages, size, reach, experience, and he didn’t use any of them.
‘It’s so disappointing because he’s lost everything, especially in the eyes of the Australian public. There was talk he had a big fight lined up with young Justis Huni, but who’s going to pay to see that now?
‘It wasn’t good for the sport. Here’s a guy who was supposed to be one of our best of all time getting beaten by a (retired) footballer.
‘They weren’t massive punches that Gallen hit him with. It wasn’t like you saw his jaw pushed back, but they caused a lot of damage and that’s in his head now. If he ever climbs into the ring again, he’ll know that he can get hurt by anyone.’
There is now talk that Gallen, 39, will take Browne’s place in a fight against 21-year-old Huni that could earn him close to $1 million.
A former footballer who has never fought more than six rounds up against a legitimate boxer who many believe could one day be Australia’s best-ever heavyweight?
Who would possibly pay to watch that? Just about everybody of course.