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BASN Boxing Notebook: Mora Replaces Briggs, Challenges Ibragimov
By Francis Walker
Updated: February 27, 2007
NEW YORK — Shannon Briggs’ WBO heavyweight championship defense against undefeated, No. 1-ranked Sultan Ibragimov was postponed a couple of weeks ago when Briggs was diagnosed with having pneumonia.
While Briggs recuperates, Ibragimov (19-0-1, 16 KOs) will face Javier Mora (21-3-1, 17 KOs) to a 10-round heavyweight contest at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 10.
“I’m very disappointed I’m not fighting Briggs, but these things happen,” Ibragimov said in a recent statement. “I am happy that Mora has the courage to step up and face me on March 10th, and I assure my fans that I will be getting my championship belt very soon.”
Briggs’ inaugural defense of the WBO title was supposed to have been part of an HBO heavyweight championship doubleheader featuring Wladimir Klitschko’s IBF title defense against Ray Austin in Mannheim, Germany the same day.
If successful, Briggs eventually would have fought Klitschko in a WBO/IBF unification bout this year. Briggs’ diagnosis put those plans on hold.
In the interim, Ibragimov, a 31-year-old Russian southpaw, loses his HBO date but will still fight as scheduled. Mora, is a 25-year-old Mexican heavyweight who has only three victories against fighters with more than 10 career victories.
Mora has key losses to former WBA heavyweight title challenger Fres Oquendo and fought former top-10 contender Kirk Johnson to a no-contest.
Ibragimov became the mandatory challenger to Briggs when he fought Austin to an exciting 12-round draw in 2006. Ibragimov also has a seventh-round TKO victory against 6-foot-6, 272-pound Mount Whitaker in December of 2005.
Ibragimov knocked Whitaker down several times before making him quit. Ibragimov also has a TKO victory over former cruiserweight champion, Alfred “Ice” Cole.
Young Prospects to appear on Garden Show.
In addition to the Ibragimov-Mora fight, heavyweight prospect Roman Greenberg (24-0, 17 KOs) and junior welterweight Edgar Santana (20-2, 13 KOs) will also be featured.
Greenberg is an undefeated 24-year-old heavyweight prospect in search of his 25th consecutive victory. The 6’ 3,” 240 pound boxer has knockout victories against Julius Francis and Kendrick Releford.
Santana is a 28-year-old junior welterweight boxer from Puerto Rico, who lives in New York City. Although Santana has two losses, he has never been knocked out and his last fifteen opponents has winning records.
Santana is a fan-favorite in the New York City area, as he has fought frequently in New York venues such as Madison Square Garden, the Hammerstein Ballroom/Manhattan Center, and Jimmy’s Bronx Café since 2003.
Santana could be a future world title challenger at 140 pounds.
More Heavyweight News: Valuev Returns in April
Nikolai Valuev (46-0, 34 KOs), the undefeated WBA heavyweight champion, returns on April 14 in Germany against Ruslan Chagaev (22-0-1, 17 KOs), the No. 1-ranked title contender.
Valuev is four victories shy of breaking the late heavyweight great Rock Marciano’s perfect 49-0 record. Former two-time heavyweight champion, Larry Holmes was 48-0 before losing a controversial 15-round unanimous decision to light heavyweight champion Michael Spinks in September of 1985.
Valuev has fought professionally since October of 1993. Valuev didn’t earn his first world heavyweight title fight until December of 2005. He won a 12-round majority decision to unseat John Ruiz, the first Latino to win two world heavyweight titles.
Valuev has knocked out Owen Beck (TKO 3), Monte Barrett (TKO 11), and recently Jameel McCline (TKO 3) in January. Vaulev will be making his fourth world title defense against Chagaev.