Shannon Briggs’ opponent merry-go-round stops on Emilio Zarate

Phil Jay 20/05/2016

Shannon Briggs has been handed a third opponent of the week as the American prepares to warm up for his shot at David Haye in September.

Originally, Briggs had been pitted in a tough encounter against former European champion Alexander Dimitrenko, which WBN had been told, was the case until Tuesday of fight week.

There were some internet rumours that Dimitrenko was never fully on board with the fight – which so far have been uncorroborated – although the Russian was then replaced by fleshy journeyman Jakov Gospic to groans from fans.

Gospic is in no way a test for Briggs, which was a stipulation of Haye for their proposed meeting, and once the Croatian was ruled out, another walkover replacement was drafted in when Emilio Zarate got the call in a situation resembling something from 888 Casino and a roulette table.

Argentinian and former South American title holder Zarate, 34, has lost 16 of his 39 contests, eight via stoppage, and was blasted out by Hughie Fury and Matias Vidondo in just two rounds.

Briggs is the current king of the first round knockout and money will surely be heaped on the 44 year-old scoring yet another one session finish to set up a high-profile collision with the ‘Hayemaker’ at the same O2 Arena venue in the autumn.