Shannon Briggs vs Fres Oquendo: Bigger than we think?Written by Leroy Cleveland
Are you excited about the June 3 WBA 'Regular' heavyweight title match between Shannon Briggs and Fres Oquendo?
Briggs vs Oquendo isn't an easy sell despite the former's accomplishments years ago and his high-profile antics since 2104. Neither fighter has participated in a high-stakes heavyweight showdown in years and both are believed to be past their primes. As a result, there's little, if any, media interest.
But this 'Who Cares' contest is, in some sense, a pretty big deal beacuse one fighter will walk away with a share of the heavyweight title. He'll be a paper champion but a belt-holder nonetheless.
Either Shannon Briggs or Fres Qquendo, 45 and 43 respectively, will be thrust into the heavyweight title picture regardless of how undeserving he is.
Imagine, for instance, if Briggs not only won the WBA title but made two successful defenses afterwards. He would be a legitimate powerbroker in the division.... And from looks of the WBA's ratings, that's not inconceivable.
If heavyweight monster Luis Ortiz faces the winner of the April 29th bout between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua as planned, the winner of Briggs vs Oquendo could conceivably pad his record with a few successful title defenses, bolting his stock in the process.
WBA HEAVYWEIGHT RANKINGS (ARP 2017)
1 LUIS ORTIZ CUB
2 WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO UKR
3 ALEXANDER USTINOV RUS
4 SHANNON BRIGGS USA
5 FRES OQUENDO PUR
6 MANUEL CHARR INT GER
7 JARRELL MILLER USA
8 TREVOR BRYAN USA
9 KUBRAT PULEV I/C BUL
10 ANDREY FEDOSOV LAC RUS
11 BJ FLORES NABA USA
12 DILLIAN WHYTE JAM
13 CHRISTIAN HAMMER ROU
14 KYOTARO FUJIMOTO JPN
15 GUILLERMO JONES
Briggs and Qquendo are arguably capable of defeating the likes of Alexander Ustinov and Manuel Charr even if one or both would be slated as the underdog in a few of those match-ups.
It will be interesting to see how much stock the winner of Briggs vs Oquendo will have - immediately after the fight and after his first title defense should he be victorious.