An expected statement has been released on behalf of the promoters behind a WBA heavyweight title clash between Shannon Briggs and Fres Oquendo.
The contest, scheduled to take place on June 3, had been in danger due to a failed drug test by Briggs.
Hitz Boxing and The Heavyweight Factory said the following in a joint announcement:
“The Backyard Brawl: Briggs vs. Oquendo battle for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casinoin Hollywood, FL has been officially canceled.
“The fight has not been rescheduled at this time. Ticket refunds are available at point of purchase.”
Official cancellation follows a WBA statement on the back of several reports of the positive test over the weekend.
Rumors grew that Briggs, a former heavyweight champion, had not passed the Fair Boxing Program which has now been backed up by the WBA.
“Heavyweight Shannon Briggs tested positive for testosterone following a Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) test as part of the WBA Fair Boxing program,” said the WBA.
“Briggs, who is scheduled fight Fres Oquendo for the WBA regular heavyweight title has the right to request the testing of B Sample.
“WBA Directors will comply with due process and respect Briggs legitimate right to defend before ruling on it.”
The next contender in line is Alexander Ustinov – who fought in Bolton last Friday. It’s possible Ustinov could be pushed through should Oquendo agree to fight the Frank Warren-co-promoted Russian.
Oquendo has already been waiting three years since his last opportunity against Ruslan Chagaev having suffered injuries and disruption in the meantime.