Shannon Briggs vs. Lucas Browne winner must face Fres Oquendo
By Scott Gilfoid: The World Boxing Association surprised a lot of fans on Tuesday when they ordered 44-year-old Shannon ”The Cannon” Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KOs) and Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (24-0, 21 KOs) to fight for their vacant WBA ‘regular’ heavyweight title. The winner Briggs-Browne fight must face 43-year-old Fres Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs) within 120 days.
Oquendo hasn’t fought in the past two years since losing to Ruslan Chagaev by a 12 round majority decision in July 2014. However, even a rusty Oquendo might prove more than a handful for the Browne vs. Briggs winner. They’re both flawed heavyweights, and both are up there in age. Browne is no spring chicken at 37.
What’s interesting here is the WBA chose not to have #6 WBA David Haye (28-2, 26 KOs) fight for his old title, which he held from 2009 to 2011. The WBA is allowing the lower ranked #8 Briggs to fight for their WBA ‘regular’ title against Browne rather than letting Haye fight. We wonder what Haye, 36, did for him not to get the title shot. Did the WBA skip over Haye after hearing news of him wanting to fight in December or did they have another reason? Whatever the case, Haye is going to have to wait in line for his crack at the WBA belt behind Oquendo.
“Briggs is a big man with a big punch and it’s going to be a great fight. Let’s hope it’s here in Australia,” said Browne to skysports.com.
Briggs will likely go wherever the most money is for the Browne fight. If that means fighting him in Australia, then so be it. Briggs is just extremely fortunate that he’s getting a title shot at all, because he’s not fought anyone good since making his comeback two years ago in 2009. Briggs has won his last nine fights, but against woeful opposition.
The WBA has still ranked Briggs despite him not fighting good opposition. The WBA has done the same thing with Browne, whose opposition during his entire career has been about as bad as Briggs. At least with Briggs, he fought some good opponents earlier in his career in his fights against George Foreman, Ray Mercer, Lennox Lewis, Sergey Liakhovich, Vitali Klitschko, Jameel McCline, Sultan Ibragimov and Frans Botha.
“Coming off a two- to three-year lay-off and coming back fighting two bums basically, how does that get you No 1 ranked in all three belts and then a world title shot by fighting two people that aren’t ranked and no one knows? “ said Browne about Haye to skysports.com. “I don’t think he deserves anything, no. Just in regards to the UK fans, it’s good that I can actually fight someone like Shannon Briggs that David Haye has avoided,” said Browne.
Yeah, I agree with Browne about Haye not deserving a title shot. I don’t think Haye does deserve to fight for the WBA title or any world title. Since coming back from a near four-year layoff, Haye has beaten these two obscure fringe contenders: Arnold Gjergjai and Mark De Mori. There’s nothing wrong with Haye slowly working himself back to the top, but it would be bad if the WBA let Haye get a quick title shot off of just two nothing wins rather than waiting for him to work his way back into a title shot.
Haye was talking recently about how he believes he’ll be a heavyweight champion by 2017. Well, it looks like he’s going to have to wait for his chance to get a crack at the winner of the Briggs vs. Browne and Oquendo fights for that to happen. It doesn’t mean Haye won’t be a champion by next year. He might get his chance, but it’s going to involve some waiting on his part. Of course, Haye can always go the hard route by facing the winner of the Joseph Parker vs. Andy Ruiz Jr. to try and capture the World Boxing Organization heavyweight title, but I can’t see him doing that. It’s too dangerous. Parker is young, strong and can fight. Haye might lose that fight, and then his dreams of fighting IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua would go up in smoke. As such, I don’t see Haye getting anywhere near the likes of Parker. He’s bad news potentially for a guy like Haye.
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