American puncher Shannon Briggs has told WBN that he will fight Ruslan Chagaev on Sunday in Grozny, Russia after reports surfaced that Fres Oquendo pulled out of the WBA heavyweight title bout.
The 42 year-old, who has won four bouts in three months since returning from a four-year absence, gave a resounding ‘Yes’ when asked if he was stepping in to replace Oquendo – whose withdrawal is stil a mystery at this point.
Briggs, if confirmed by the WBA committee, will attempt to regain the world title he last held in 2007 when losing his WBO version to Sultan Ibragimov via a unanimous decision in New Jersey.
It’s no secret that Briggs is trying to entice Wladimir Klitschko into the ring in a bid to make amends for his punishing loss to brother Vitali, and winning the ‘regular’ belt could be the quickest way for ‘The Cannon’ to get his wish.
At this moment in time, the World Boxing Association has stated to World Boxing News that the clash has not yet been confirmed or approved, although that could change in the coming hours as Chagaev awaits news of his opponent.
Promoters of Sunday’s show at the Ahmat Arena are said to be desperate to save the event following Oquendo’s exit and the evergreen Briggs is keen to accept the challenge at just 48 hours notice.
Editor’s Note (21:47 BST): WBA Vice President Gilberto Mendoza stated that no official word had come from the promoters Terek Boxing that Fres Oquendo had pulled out.
WBN will update this situation as we get any new information.
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