After having won 4 fights over lower level quality fighters in his comeback, 42-year-old former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs (55-6-1, 48 KO’s) has been given a ranking of #14 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) as of Wednesday. The new ranking now makes the 6’4” Briggs eligible to be picked out by newly crowned WBA heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev for an optional title defense, which is very likely what we’ll see from the Russian heavyweight in either his next fight or the one after that.
Briggs was under consideration last Friday to step in and face Chagaev in a fight for the vacant WBA heavyweight title in Grozny, Russia. The originally scheduled opponent for Chagaev, Fres Oquendo, was unable to take the fight for some reason. However, Oquendo took care of whatever he needed to and ultimately made the flight to Russia to face Chagaev.
Briggs feels that he would have beaten Chagaev even on just 2-days’ notice. As bad as Chagaev looked in that fight, it’s difficult to disagree with Briggs says. Chagav would have been a sitting duck for Briggs’ shots, and if he didn’t go down with an injury. Briggs would have won the fight.
Briggs was out of boxing from 2010-2014 following a lopsided 12 round decision loss to WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in 2010. It didn’t make any sense at the time that Briggs stopped fighting because he was good enough at the time to keep winning and get an eventual title shot against champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Since coming back, Briggs has beaten Raphael Zumbano Love, Matthew Greer, Francisco Mireles and Maurenzo Smith.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Chagaev’s promoters pick Briggs out for an optional title defense for later this year. Of the top 15 contenders the WBA has ranked, Briggs has the best ability to market a fight with his gift for over the top marketing of his fights.