Strictly Business Boxing
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Oquendo / Briggs Cancelled?

(May 21st) Leaked reports from VADA - the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association have the June 3rd WBA Heavyweight title bout between Chicago’s, Fres “Big O” Oquendo and Brooklyn, New York’s, Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida has been cancelled due a failed drug test by the former WBO Heavyweight Champion Briggs.

 

Coming as a result of the WBA's Fair Boxing Program this past Saturday, Dr. Margaret Goodman, the President of VADA assigned with the administration and management of the drug testing for the June 3rd scheduled bout released a report revealing that Briggs' urine sample collected May 14th had come back testing for dramatically elevated levels of testosterone.

 

The report showing Briggs' A sample was "analyzed for anabolic agents, diuretics, beta-2 agonists, metabolic modulators, GHRP, hormones and related substances and an "atypical" testosterone to epitestosterone ratio far exceeding the allowable limit under World Anti-Doping Agency standards.

There has been no action taken by the Briggs camp asking for the procedural right for a subsequent testing of his B sample.

 

The 45 year-old, Briggs, 60-6-1, 53 Ko’s positive testing together with promoter The Heavyweight Factory, inability to secure a television deal for the “Geritol” bracketed championship potentially leaves the 44-year-old Oquendo without an opponent for the title bout established on a United States federal court ruling stemming from a lawsuit Oquendo won against the sanctioning organization.

 

Due to legal actions and surgery for an injured shoulder Oquendo, 37-8, 24Ko’s out of the ring since losing a vacant WBA title bout twelve round unanimous decision to Ruslan Chagaev, July of 2014 after which he failed the post-fight drug analysis testing positive for two banned substances, tamoxifin and anastrozole.

 

Reports out of Chandler, Arizona, have 38-year-old, BJ “El Peligroso” Flores, 33-3-1, 21Ko’s ranked #11 by the WBA ready willing and able to go as a replacement.

 

After having to step in an order a N'Dam / Murata rematch earlier this weekend, so far, there has been no official statement from the WBA.

Backyard Brawl: Briggs vs. Oquendo

Press Conference Quotes & Photos!

(photo credit Ralph Notaro/Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)

(May 9th) Heavyweight contenders Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs and Fres Oquendo faced off for the first time today (Tuesday, May 9) before they battle for the WBA Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, June 3 in the main event of Backyard Brawl: Briggs vs. Oquendo taking place at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

 

The two-time heavyweight champion Briggs and three-time title challenger Oquendo participated in a highly energetic press conference at Hard Rock Live as both men, along with representatives from their camps, proclaimed victory on June 3. Also in attendance were a trio of former Heavyweight champions who plan on attending fight night including Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Briggs' trainer Chris Byrd, adding to the anticipation for the Heavyweight title bout. 

 

Ticket prices are $75, $100, $150, $250 and $500; ringside seats are sold for $1,000; ringside tables with six seats are $5,500 and 10 seats are $11,000 (plus a $5 Facility Maintenance fee applies). All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Doors open one hour prior to show start time. *Additional fees may apply.

 

Here is what the participants had to say:

SHANNON BRIGGS

"This has been a long journey. Five years ago, I was depressed and out of the boxing game, but then my daughter was born. I took a stand. I said that I'm going to do this for her. Everyone doubted me. When I met with Kris Lawrence, he listened to me talk for hours on a Monday and then on Friday he called me and said 'Let's Go Champ!' That was the beginning of the comeback."

 

"I lost 145 pounds and I went around the world, meeting people and trying to inspire them, but they were inspiring me too. It's a huge motivation to me to see these people and get the response from people who say that I was able to inspire them."

 

"We're here now. We got the shot. I look forward to becoming a champion for a third time. I'm fighting a very good fighter in Fres Oquendo. He's a seasoned guy, but he's out of his league. This isn't his time."

 

"I've heard things that he's said about me, that it might be an easy fight. But he has no idea how motivated and how focused I am right now. I just can't wait for the bell to ring so that the people can look up and see me smash him."

 

"I'm coming out in the first round and I'm gunning for you. As soon as the bell rings, I'm coming to take your head off. If I don't get you in the first, I'll get you in the second. All the way to the 12th. I got Liakhovich at 2:59 of the last round and you might have to go that way too."

 

"I'm happy and excited. The time is now. I'm home in Florida where I've lived for the last 18 years. I'm training like never before. I might have taken two weeks off in the last four years. I'm looking forward to glory. I want to see the people around the world saying "LETS GO CHAMP!"

 

FRES OQUENDO

"It's a pleasure to be here for this historic event. Shannon and I go way back.  We're gentlemen of the sport. We carry ourselves with dignity. We're going to go after it."

 

"We actually shared a twin bill on my HBO debut in 2001. That was a special night for me. I'm thankful to Shannon for stepping up and facing a fighter of my caliber. I'm going to go in there with everything that I have. It's not going to be easy in there for him."

 

"I'm dedicating this fight to my son's friend Jaxon King, who passed away last year at five years old. I have a non-profit that helps a lot of at risk youth in Chicago because I was one of those kids. They all mean so much to me and I'm going to have Jaxon in my heart that day and give me the extra edge to do what I have to do."

 

"I've been in there with the best in the sport. This is a very special fight for me. This is life and death for me. I've fought everywhere in the world, sometimes I didn't get the decision, but I'm going to bring it every time."

 

"I hope to see everyone out there on fight night. It's going to be a great night of boxing. I can't wait to make history on June 3."

 

EVANDER HOLYFIELD, 2017 International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

"I'm honored to be here and see boxing back. I know that this is going to be a great fight. I wouldn't miss it. I'll be there ringside on June 3 here at Hard Rock Live."

 

"The important thing is that one of these guys is going to be the oldest heavyweight champion in history. I thought it would be me, but the person who walks out of here will be able to say they did it. It shows that these guys take care of themselves and are dedicated to the sport. I can't wait."

 

CHRIS BYRD, Briggs' Co-Trainer & Former Heavyweight Champion

"I'm a boxing guy. I love this sport. I've known Shannon and Fres for a long time. It's crazy that Shannon is 45 and still wants to learn every day in the gym. He wants to win this fight so badly. He wants everything he does in camp to be the best, so he can be the best in the ring."

 

"It's scary when Shannon Briggs gets in front of you. The power, speed and athleticism is crazy. I think Shannon Briggs is the best heavyweight in the world right now."

 

STACY MCKINLEY, Briggs' Co-Trainer

"I work with many heavyweights before Shannon asked to work with me. I was surprised to see the power and speed that he has. It's unbelievable. We've been working for a couple of years now and he's always been dedicated to what we do."

 

"We've got all these great heavyweights here today and I've worked with a lot of great heavyweights. Shannon Briggs is one of the hardest punchers I've ever worked the pads with. This is going to be the first time that Fres Oquendo will be knocked out."

 

HENRY RIVALTA, The Heavyweight Factory

"This is going to be a very exciting matchup. You have South Florida's own Shannon Briggs and Chicago's Fres Oquendo. Both men are fighting for their future and legacy in the sport of boxing. This is going to be a great fight between two veteran American fighters."

 

"Shannon has been the people's champ for a long time. The 'Let's Go Champ!' mantra is not just him out there saying it, there is so much behind it. It helps so many people who are out there struggling and I commend you for that."

 

"Shannon is going to let his fists do the talking on June 3. The Heavyweight Factory is about teamwork, working hard and results."

 

"Anthony Joshua was granted an optional defense by the WBA, so the winner of this fight could be in a great position. The future fights that are coming for these fighters will be great, but neither guy is looking past this one. After this fight, we can talk about everybody else."

 

"I wish both fighters the best on fight night. I know who I think is going to win, but I truly wish Fres good luck because he is a true gentleman."

 

"We want to thank the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for being a great host and everyone should get their tickets now, you won't want to miss it."

 

BOBBY HITZ, Hitz Boxing

"Our team is going to come prepared. The talk is all nice, but when he gets in the ring, it's just going to be the two fighters. We're going to be like Clint Eastwood and come in to town real quiet and leave with the belt."

 

"I promised Fres in 2009 that I'd get him to the heavyweight championship of the world and I did. Now he's going to do his part and come back with the title. It's going to be a great fight."

 

JOHN WIRT, Square Ring Promotions

"We're really happy to be here and we're thankful to everyone who helped put this all together. It's a hard road to glory and Fres has been on a journey that I've been with him on since 2008."

 

"The last title fight that Fres took was taken on one day's notice. We arrived in Chechnya an hour and a half before the weigh-in. This is Fres' real shot. This is the shot that Fres deserves."

 

TOM TSATAS, Oquendo's Manager

"Once Shannon gets in the ring, he's going to have to deal with Fres Oquendo. I know what he's capable of. Fres has never been knocked out and he's never had to go to the hospital. We have a great team over here."

 

"We will see on June 3 who is in shape and ready. Fres has more experience, he's faster and he's just as strong as Shannon. We'll find out on June 3."

 

"I have no doubt in my mind that the fourth time is the holy grail for us. We've been ripped off too many times. We're going to win and Fres is going into the history books."

 

DAVE GOLD, VP of Entertainment, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

"Over the years Hard Rock Live has been Florida's premier destination for boxing. Exciting boxing events have come through here throughout the years. It's opened its doors to thousands of boxing fans and watched both the next big names step into our ring and seen legendary names win championship titles."

 

"We're happy to welcome Shannon Briggs back after his triumphant win here in 2015. June 3 will see Briggs back in the ring as he takes on Fres Oquendo. We're very excited and looking forward to seeing history on that night."

 

Representing the boxing hotbed of Brooklyn, Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KOs) seeks the third heavyweight world title in his long and eventful career. Briggs became a world champion in 2006 when he scored a 12th round stoppage of Siarhei Liakhovich. Briggs has faced the best heavyweights in the world and won the lineal heavyweight world title from George Foreman in 1997. He also defeated Ray Mercer in 2005, in addition to world title challenges of Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko. He enters this fight as the winner of his last nine contests, including eight knockouts and a 12-round decision over Raphael Zumbano Love.

 

Originally from Puerto Rico and fighting out of Chicago throughout his pro career, Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs) looks to capitalize on his fourth opportunity and capture a world title. The slick-boxer has faced a slew of top heavyweights throughout his career, including narrow decision losses to Evander Holyfield and James Toney, plus title challenges of Chris Byrd and John Ruiz. The 44-year-old owns recent victories over Derric Rossy and Joey Abell in addition to triumphs over Clifford Etienne, David Izon and Javier Mora.

 

About Hard Rock Live

Hard Rock Live, a spectacular state-of-the-art facility, further expands the ultimate entertainment experience at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. This 5,500-seat indoor arena has attracted more than 3 million people since its opening in 2005 and has regularly hosted South Florida's greatest variety of musical acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Marc Anthony, Billy Joel, Andrea Bocelli, Tim McGraw and Carlos Santana; top comedians including Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Kathy Griffin and George Lopez; as well as major sporting events and events of major sports stars, from UFC matches to charity galas for Jason Taylor, Alonzo Mourning, Dwyane Wade and more. For additional information, please visit www.hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com or www.myhrl.com.

 

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is South Florida's iconic entertainment destination located minutes from Fort Lauderdale's world-famous beach. The AAA Four Diamond-rated resort features 469 luxury guest rooms and suites, award-winning restaurants, a lagoon-style pool and Beach Club, a Hard Rock-inspired spa, premium meeting and convention space and a 5,500-seat Hard Rock Live concert arena. The casino offers more than 100 table games, 2,000 of the most popular slots and a stand-alone poker room.

 

Fine dining options include Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, the resort's signature steakhouse, and Kuro, a luxe and socially vibrant restaurant offering new-style Japanese cuisine. In the heart of the hotel is L Bar, a sophisticated, contemporary lounge showcasing handcrafted classic cocktails with a twist. Contemporary and casual eateries, include Blue Plate, the hotel's 24-hour diner-inspired restaurant; Constant Grind, a gourmet coffee and pastry shop; and the ever-famous Hard Rock Cafe - Hollywood, part of Hard Rock's 174 globally recognized rock 'n' roll restaurants.

Heavyweight World Title Showdown

Comes to South Florida! Backyard Brawl:

Briggs vs Oquendo

June 3rd Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino!

(May 1st) Two-time world heavyweight champion Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs and three-time title challenger Fres Oquendo will battle for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Heavyweight Championship in the main event of Backyard Brawl: Briggs vs. Oquendo taking place on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Doors open at 6 p.m. with first fight at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.

 

One of boxing's most popular and larger-than-life personalities who fights in its resurgent glamor division, Briggs' self-made brand and boxing acumen has helped him land several world title fights since 1998. On June 3, the 45-year-old Briggs will bring a five-fight knockout streak into the ring as he attempts to make history by matching the likes of two-time world heavyweight champion George Foreman. The oldest heavyweight champion ever, Foreman won his final heavyweight championship at the age of 45.

 

"Fighting for the WBA Heavyweight Championship against Fres Oquendo is a wonderful opportunity and true privilege," said Briggs. "Being able to fight at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, in front of my hometown fans and right in my backyard is extremely exciting. I'm working very hard right now with some great sparring partners that are pushing me to the limit. Fight night will be a long one for Fres Oquendo. I want to dedicate this fight to my children, my family, all of my fans and to all of the people around the world who have suffered from depression. I'm living proof that you can make it. Don't give up. LET'S GO CHAMP!"

 

Returning to the ring after a disputed defeat to Ruslan Chagaev in a 2014 title fight, Oquendo is co-promoted by future Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr.'s Square Ring Promotions and Hitz Boxing as he looks to become the first heavyweight champion from Puerto Rico since John Ruiz in 2001.

 

"This will be a great fight between two veteran American fighters," said Oquendo. "I've fought in Miami five times, plus, I train at the historic 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach, so I'm very comfortable here. The trials and tribulations I've encountered for 30 years in this sport and 20 as a professional, are finally coming to fruition. They say third time is the charm, but the fourth is the holy grail and the most special. I'm dedicating this fight to Jaxon King, my friend's son who just passed away at five years of age. I'm also doing this for my mentor, Muhammad Ali. Winning his belt on the anniversary of his passing will be special. I'm going to borrow the belt for a bit and give it back when I'm done beating Shannon."

 

Less than 30 miles from the Miami Beach Convention Center that hosted the 1964 Fight of the Year between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston, Briggs and Oquendo will look to ignite the passions of the rabid boxing fans in South Florida as they seek a piece of the championship crown and move closer to the ultimate goal of unifying the heavyweight division.

 

"We're extremely excited about bringing this WBA Heavyweight World Championship fight to Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino," said Kris Lawrence, founder of The Heavyweight Factory. "We're really proud of Shannon Briggs, who has a chance to tie George Foreman's record and become a champion for a third time. It is truly amazing for a heavyweight like Shannon to have lasted and preserved himself for so long. He was champion in two different decades. First in 1997 and then 2006. Now in 2017, he has the chance to do it again. We hope to see everyone coming out and supporting Shannon Briggs the night of the fight, as he is the 'People's Champ.' LET'S GO CHAMP!"

 

Briggs has made South Florida his home and training camp for much of his career. He will be making his fourth start at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and his ninth in the state.

 

Representing the boxing hotbed of Brooklyn, Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KOs) seeks the third heavyweight world title in his long and eventful career. Briggs became a world champion in 2006 when he scored a 12th round stoppage of Siarhei Liakhovich. Briggs has faced the best heavyweights in the world and won the lineal heavyweight world title from George Foreman in 1997. He also defeated Ray Mercer in 2005, in addition to world title challenges of Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko. He enters this fight as the winner of his last nine contests, including eight knockouts and a 12-round decision over Raphael Zumbano Love.

 

Originally from Puerto Rico and fighting out of Chicago throughout his pro career, Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs)looks to capitalize on his fourth opportunity and capture a world title. The slick-boxer has faced a slew of top heavyweights throughout his career, including narrow decision losses to Evander Holyfield and James Toney, plus title challenges of Chris Byrd and John Ruiz. The 44-year-old owns recent victories over Derric Rossy and Joey Abell in addition to triumphs over Clifford Etienne, David Izon and Javier Mora.

 

Briggs vs. Oquendo Fight Week promises to excite with week-long events that will lead up to this historic night. Among the boxing royalty invited to Fight Week and Fight Night are Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones Jr, Michael Moorer, Riddick Bowe and more.

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