Shannon Briggs vs. Fres Oquendo called off
By Jim Dower: Shannon Briggs won’t be fighting Fres Oquendo for the vacant WBA heavyweight title on June 3. The fight was canceled on Tuesday following the news of the 44-year-old Briggs testing positive for increased level of testosterone during a test conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency last month on May 14. Briggs and Oquendo were going to be fighting next month on June 3 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Briggs, 45, seemed to take his fight being canceled in stride. Briggs took to his social media site today and looked to be in an upbeat mood with him saying, “Let’s go Champ.” The unfortunate thing for Briggs is he may have missed out on his last shot at getting a world title fight. If Briggs expects to fight for a world title, he’s likely going to need to fight his way to that spot the next time rather than being given a world title shot by the WBA. Briggs beat a bunch of really awful heavyweights to get his No.4 ranking with the WBA.
The ranking the WBA gave Briggs seemed to be far too kind for the level of fighters he beat since he made his comeback in 2014. It took Briggs 3 years of beating journeymen level heavyweights for him to get in position for a world title shot. Briggs might need to take a risk this time and fight a contender or two if he wants to be moved into title contender, because I have a feeling the WBA is going to drop him from their rankings.
Briggs should try and get a fight against someone like David Haye once his torn right Achilles tendon heals up. It’s not as if Haye will have a lot of options for fights when he does get better. Tony Bellew is looking to get a world title shot against one of the champions. Haye would seem like the last option for him. Briggs can maybe get a fight against Haye if he’s willing to face him. Haye will need a tune-up fight anyway when he returns to the ring after his Achilles tendon is healed. Briggs isn’t getting any younger.
Oquendo is left out in the cold through no fault of his own with Briggs testing for elevated testosterone levels with VADA. The WBA will need to find someone to replace Briggs for Oquendo to fight for the WBA title. Just how long that takes is the big question Luis Ortiz is ranked No.1. Oquendo is going to have a difficult time beating any of the replacement options unless the WBA chooses someone from the bottom of the rankings. Oquendo is pretty old at 44, and he’s not had a fight since 2014. Oquendo lost his last fight to Ruslan Chagaev three years.
Oqunedo’s last victory was over journeyman Galen Browne in May 2014. The last significant win that Oquendo has on his record was probably his win over journeyman Derric Rossy. I don’t know if you can call that a significant win in beating a journeyman. Oquendo’s best win of his career was his victory over David Izon in 2001. The rest of the guys Oquendo has beaten haven’t been great fighters. Oquendo has lost to the best guys he’s fought. That’s the unfortunate thing about Oquendo’s career. He’s fought a lot of notable heavyweights, but he’s come up short against them.