World Ranked Light Heavyweight contender “Hot Rod” Radivoje Kalajdzic (24-1, 17 KOs) has thrown down the gauntlet to Staten Island, NY native Marcus Browne (23-0, 16 KOs) for a rematch of their highly controversial clash in 2016.
“I saw Browne’s fight against Badou Jack and it’s the same amateurish style since he turned pro, holding at the first sign of trouble,” said the 27-year-old Kalajdzic, who has called St. Petersburg, Florida, his home for 15 years. Browne won a 12-round unanimous decision against Jack on January 19, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, seizing the interim WBA Light Heavyweight Title and the WBC Silver Light Heavyweight Title.
Promoted by DiBella Entertainment, Kalajdzic lost a hotly contested split decision over eight rounds to Browne, the only blemish on an otherwise perfect eight-year career. The bout took place on April 16, 2016, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and was scored 76-74 both ways, and 76-75 Browne.
“I slipped in the first round and he hit me when I was down and the referee ruled it a knockdown. From then on, I won the second, fourth, the sixth where I legitimately dropped him, and the last two rounds. So even counting my knockdown in the first, I still should have won the fight as the one judge correctly scored it for me,” said Kalajdzic.
“I’ve watched Browne’s most recent fights and he’s a front runner. As soon as the going gets tough, he starts holding. The referee finally took a point away for excessive holding in the Jack fight, which Browne should have been penalized for in our fight.
“I’ve wanted the rematch for three years. I’m sure Browne would be happy fighting some run-of-the-mill, faded contender and avoid me, but it’s time to do it again. Anytime, anywhere, I’ll fight him in his backyard. He can’t beat me. He didn’t the first time and he won’t on the second try.”
Five months after the Browne fight, Kalajdzic was featured on Showtime’s “ShoBox” series and impressively knocked out the previously unbeaten Travis Peterkin in the fifth round. After beating Peterkin, “Hot Rod” took an extended period of time off to ensure the complete recovery of a lingering hand injury. In early 2018, he was given a clean bill of health and returned to the ring with two sensational first round knockouts versus Brad Austin and Alex Theran.
“After his long layoff, Hot Rod is back with a bang, having KO’d his last two opponents,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “No disrespect to Marcus Browne, who looked sensational against Jack, but everyone in Team Hot Rod Kalajdzic views his record as 25-0. The boxing world knows that Hot Rod beat Marcus Browne the first time and I know that the boxing world would love to see it again. In the meantime, Hot Rod’s next fight will be announced shortly and he’ll continue his march toward a light heavyweight title.”