Lucas Browne may be at the centre of a last-ditch drama involving his gloves, but "Big Daddy" has doubled down on his promise to knock out Paul Gallen in Wollongong on Wednesday night.
There was controversy ahead of Tuesday morning's weigh in at Novotel Northbeach when Browne was unable to fit his hands in two sponsored gloves. As part of the fight's deal, both men must wear 10-ounce custom made Everlast gloves before going toe-to-toe. Organisers were left scrambling trying to sort out the issue, but the Mercury understands a horse hair glove alternative has been suggested.
However, Browne - who weighed in at 117.08kg - appeared unfazed about the issue at Tuesday's event.
"I'm not getting an advantage out of any sort, I just want a glove that fits. The first one didn't even go on my hands. The second one, my hand fit, but if I've got wraps on, it won't fit at all. I can't fight like that, I've done it in the past and it's not good," the former WBA world champion said.
"It will be a good, competitive fight. Here we are in Australia, where Covid isn't as much of an issue as other countries, and we've got everyone coming down. And I've got the limelight coming on me. He's got the name, but the pressure is always going to be on me considering that I get messages every day saying 'please bash him' - and that's being polite. No matter where I go, Queensland down to the Gong, 'please bash him'. So a lot of pressure is on him as well."
The heavyweight blockbuster will cap a stacked seven-fight card at the WEC, with Gallen (10-0-1) and Browne (29-2) going toe-to-toe over six rounds. It is the biggest fight at the venue since Anthony Mundine fought Wollongong's Shannan Taylor in 2009.
Ahead of the bout, Browne promises a knock-out.
"I don't like having the fate of the fight with three judges who may not have seen it the same way I did," he said.
"So there's definitely going to be a stoppage."
Gallen, who weighed in at 102.2kg, refused to get dragged into the gloves saga on Tuesday. The former NSW State of Origin captain also said he wasn't concerned about the 15kg weight and 16-centimetre height difference between the pair.
"I played rugby league for a long time and I was not the smallest, but certainly always one of the smallest forwards on the park and I survived for close to 20 years. And I don't think I've had a fight where I've been heavier than the other guy. So it's not an issue at all," Gallen said.
"I don't really care (about the gloves), it's a ploy for him to get whatever advantage he can. That's what they're trying to do. Mark Hunt fit in the gloves, I fit in the gloves. They're tight gloves, but that's what boxing fight gloves are. He's had over 30 fights and you're telling me he's only had horse hair gloves? But it's not up to him, it's up to the promoter. My team will look after it, I'm not concerned about it."