Exclusive: Browne v Briggs talks ongoing for 2017, UK, China and Australian venues considered

Leon Margules, lawyer and representative for ex-WBA heavyweight champion Lucas Browne, has informed WBN talks are underway to stage a mandated fight against former WBO belt holder Shannon Briggs.

The World Boxing Association recently ordered Browne to battle Briggs for the vacant WBA ‘regular’ belt in the fallout to the Australian’s legal challenge disputing a drug test failure earlier this year. Browne knocked out now-retired Uzbek Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny to claim the top division championship, only to be stripped by the WBA after testing positive for banned substance Clenbuterol.

Following months of uncertainty and challenges to the decision, Browne won the right to contest the strap for a second time, and despite being linked to fights against David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko, the 37 year-old was eventually pitted against veteran Briggs.

The encounter was due to take place in December, according to the official document released by WBA President Gilberto Mendoza, although Margules believes a later date in the New Year is on the cards.

“Talks have begun to make the fight between Lucas Browne and Shannon Briggs,” Margules exclusively told World Boxing News.

“We are looking to stage Browne v Briggs early next year and believe the fight could take place in either the UK, China or Australia,” he added.

The winner of the contest will then face long-time mandatory challenger Fres Oquendo in their first defence by mid-2017 once the Puerto-Rican-American recovers from an injury, which has kept him out of action since 2014.