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WBA orders boxer Browne to fight Briggs

AAP logoAAP 2/11/2016 Adrian Warren

Lucas Browne is happy the WBA has ordered him to fight American veteran Shannon Briggs for the heavyweight world title they took off the Australian earlier in the year.

Browne was stripped of the regular WBA crown and suspended for six months after the weight control drug clenbuterol was detected in a drug test in the aftermath of his win over Ruslan Chagaev in Chechnya.

However, the WBA later accepted Browne didn't voluntarily ingest a banned substance and wouldn't have gained any advantage from taking a single small dose.

A fight was initially sanctioned for the vacant title between Browne and Puerto Rican veteran Fres Oquendo, but the 43-year-old has been afflicted by injury problems and hasn't fought since losing to Chagaev in July 2014.

Details for the bout against former WBO champion Briggs have to be finalised by the end of the year.

Browne 37, (24-0, 21 KOs) wants his first title defence to be in a home ring, but has thrown down the gauntlet to local promoters.

"Hopefully we'll have it here in Oz, as long as the Aussie promoters aren't skint on the dollars," Browne said.

Briggs 44, (60-6-1, 53 KOs), made his professional debut in 1992, and outpointed former world champion George Foreman in that legendary fighter's last bout in 1997.

He was stopped by Lennox Lewis in a WBC title fight in 1998 and won the WBO title in 2006 before losing it in his first defence the following year.

Briggs dropped a points decision to the then WBC champion Vitali Klitschko in October 2010 and didn't fight for three-and-a-half years.

He returned to the ring in April 2014, winning his last nine fights.

Briggs has agitated for another world title opportunity since returning, infamously gatecrashing the press conference and weigh in for Australian Alex Leapai's world title fight with former multi-organisation heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2014.

Browne anticipates an eventful scrap with the ageing but hard hitter.

"I'm happy it's on. I'm happy it's Briggs," Browne told AAP.

"It will be a great war and great exposure."

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