Shannon Briggs faces Lucas Browne for WBA 'regular' heavyweight title
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 02/11/16 10:35am
Shannon Briggs and Lucas Browne are set to fight for the vacant WBA heavyweight title.
The WBA confirmed the pair will slug it out for the 'regular' belt before the end of the year with the 'super' title due to be contested between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko in the spring.
Australian Browne was due to face Fres Oquendo for the vacant strap but the Puerto Rican is recovering from shoulder surgery and Briggs has been handed the chance to win a second world title at the age of 44.
Briggs, who recently accused David Haye of backing out of a proposed showdown between the pair, will return to the ring after stopping Emilio Zarate in May to secure a record 36th first-round knockout.
The American (60-6-1-KO53) previously held the WBO crown and has shared a ring with boxing legends George Foreman, Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko.
Browne, who has won all of his 24 fights, 21 by knockout, climbed off the canvas to stop Ruslan Chagaev in March to win the title but was later stripped of the belt for failing a drug test.
"Let's go champ,'' said Browne, borrowing Briggs' catch-line used during the past two years in a bid to entice both David Haye and Wladimir Klitschko into the ring.
"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.''
The WBA has ordered the winner to face Oquendo in a mandatory defence within 120 days.