I swear I’m not making this up.
With former beltholder Lucas Browne reeling from multiple failed drug tests, the WBA has ordered Shannon Briggs to face Fres Oquendo for the now-vacant belt. Briggs had previously campaigned to face David Haye, who elected to settle his grudge against Tony Bellew instead.
Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KO) returned to the ring in 2014 after 3.5 years away and proceeded to win nine straight over weak opposition, seven via first-round knockout. He turned 45 last month, has competed for nearly 25 years, and hasn’t beaten a quality heavyweight since knocking out Siarhei Liakhovich for the WBO title in 2006.
He was set to face Browne before the big Aussie had his second run-in with VADA.
Oquendo (37-8, 24 KO) hasn’t fought since losing a narrow decision to Ruslan Chagaev in July of 2014, although that’s not entirely his fault. He was booked to rematch Chagaev in late 2015 before suffering an injury and was Browne’s mandatory challenger, but missed out on the chance due to recovering from shoulder surgery.
The two have a combined age of 88.
For nostalgia’s sake, this is what the WBA’s unifying tournament was supposed to look like:
So it goes.