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BASN Boxing Notebook: Illness Delays Briggs-Ibragimov Fight
By Francis Walker
Updated: February 14, 2007
NEW YORK — Shannon Briggs’ WBO heavyweight championship defense against Sultan Ibragimov has been postponed. Briggs was diagnosed with having pneumonia and will be out of training for more than one month.
The 35-year-old from Brownsville was scheduled for his first title defense on March 10, at the Theater of Madison Square Garden, New York City.
To raise the stakes, Briggs’ inaugural defense of the WBO crown he won in November of 2006 when he knocked out Sergui Liakhovich at 2:59 of the twelfth round, would have been televised along with Wladimir Klitschko’s heavyweight championship defense against No. 1-ranked IBF contender, Ray Austin.
Both Briggs and Klitschko’s title defenses would have been broadcast on HBO as part of an attempt by the network to set up a possible WBO/IBF world heavyweight championship match between Briggs and Klitschko.
Briggs-Klitschko is perhaps the biggest heavyweight fight that could be made. It would be the first step toward unifying the world heavyweight championships.
Although Briggs is recuperating, he still has to get past Ibragimov, an undefeated southpaw and the WBO mandatory challenger. Until that happens, Briggs-Klitschko will be delayed until later part of 2007 at least.
Sam Peter Close To Settlement with WBC
Nigerian heavyweight and WBC No. 1-ranked challenger Samuel Peter maybe close to a settlement with Vitali Klitschko and WBC champion, Oleg Maskaev.
Peter could receive $2.5 million to step aside and allow Maskaev to fight Vitali, the older brother for IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Peter would also earn an additional $3 million to fight the winner and then WBC champion. If Peter meets Maskaev in his next fight, there will be a typical 70%-30% purse split in favor of the champion, which means Peter could earn only $1.5 million.
Peter, who twice defeated James Toney to earn the next WBC heavyweight title shot, was bumped from his opportunity to fight Maskev for the title when former champ, Vitlai announced his return.
Under the World Boxing Council’s “Champion Emeritus” rule, Klitschko would be awarded the first opportunity to regain the WBC belt when he was healthy enough to resume his career.
Vitali retired in 2005 after numerous back and knee injuries forced him to cancel a heavyweight title defense three times that year.
Peter deserves the next opportunity to fight Maskaev. However, a heavyweight title fight between two former Soviet Union fighters like Maskaev and Klitschko is a much bigger fight.
Should Peter decide to step aside, he gets paid for doing nothing and gets more money in his title shot.
Money talks, do the math.
Malignaggi, Powell, Berto Showcased on HBO Triple Header
The success of boxing promoter Lou DiBella’s Broadway Boxing series in New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom will result to an HBO televised, “Boxing After Dark” triple header on February 17.
DiBella, a former HBO Senior Vice President of Sports Programming, was credited for creating the HBO hit series more than 11 years ago. Three of DiBella’s top prospects will be displayed in very competitive fights.
Paul Malignaggi (21-0, 5 KOs), a 26-year-old from Brooklyn, NY, will headline the Hammerstein as the hometown favorite against 24-year-old, Edner Cherry (21-4-2, 10 KOs) in a junior welterweight fight.
It will be Malignaggi’s first appearance since losing a brutal 12-round decision to Miguel Cotto in June of 2006. Malignaggi is best-known for his quick hands, slick boxing and showboating style. He’s not a big puncher, but very fun to watch because he’s so fast.
Another Brooklyn fighter, 27-year-old Sechew Powell (20-1, 12 KOs) hasn’t fought since losing a 10-round decision to former junior middleweight champ, Kassim Ouma.
Powell (20-1, 12 KOs) will look to get back on the winning track when he faces 28-year-old, Ishe Smith (18-1, 8 KOs) in what should be a very competitive fight between junior middleweights.
Powell is a very good boxer, throws a lot of punches and fight well behind his left jab. He continues to improve after each fight. He will be tested by Smith, whose only loss was a 5-round split decision loss against Sergio Mora on NBC’s “The Contender.”
Also, young 23-year-old Andre Berto (16-0, 14 KOs), one of the most talked-about welterweight prospects in the game, meets Noberto Bravo.
Berto is on a current five-fight knockout streak. Berto likes to apply pressure using power in both fists and always looks for the knockout.
Bravo may have 13 losses, but during a career that has lasted for nearly 16 years, the 36-year-old has only one knockout loss in 39 professional fights. Bravo fought five times last year, winning three times.