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Wladimir Klitschko: Next fight options limited to Shannon Briggs, Antonio Tarver or Bryant Jennings?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Negotiations for a Brooklyn showdown between lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and surging contender Bryant Jennings have stalled, leaving Wlad's next fight options open.

Sensing this may be his big chance, former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs is lobbying hard for Klitschko and HBO to grant him a title shot.

Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Briggs insists there will be no seat left unfilled in Barclays Center should he be selected at Klitschko's next opponent.

"Let me fight in Brooklyn, I’ll sell it out," stated Shannon recently on On The Ropes Boxing Radio.

"The reason they should pick me is because of the viewership and ticket sales. I’m from Brooklyn, I was born on Atlantic avenue, right down the street from where Barclays Center is."

"Everybody knows me, we’re gonna sell it out. I’m just looking forward to becoming the heavyweight champion for the third time, I’m just trying to make it happen."

Not only is Shannon Briggs a former heavyweight belt-holder with a blistering 80 percent knockouts-to-fights ratio, he's successfully thrusted himself into the limelight by publicly stalking and taunting the champion, making mainstream headlines in the process.

And while Shannon may have drawn the eyes and ears of the boxing world with his antics and 'Let's Go Champ' comeback theme, Klitschko seemingly didn't find Briggs' taunts amusing and may be peeved enough to rebuke the Brooklyn-born heavyweight, forcing Shannon to fight his way up the heavyweight ladder.

However, a glimpse at the top contenders shows us Klitschko's next fight options may be limited if he wants to fight in April.
  • Alexander Povetkin (Lost to Wlad in 2013)
  • Kubrat Pulev (Lost to Wlad in November)
  • Bermane Stiverne (Fighting Deontay Wilder next week)
  • Deontay Wilder (Fighting Bermane Stiverne next week)
  • Tyson Fury (Fighting Christian Hammer February 28)
  • Vyacheslav Glazkov (Fighting Steve Cunningham in March)
  • Shannon Briggs (Popular American former heavyweight belt-holder who has faced some of the best heavyweights over the last 20 years)
  • Antonio Tarver (Has had only two bouts in 30 months but is a familiar name)
  • Bryant Jennings (Negotiations at a standstill)
  • Odlanier Solis (lost his most recent bout; Signed to rematch Tony Thompson)
  • Steve Cunningham (Fighting Vyacheslav Glazkov in March)
  • Christian Hammer (Fighting Tyson Fury February 28)
  • Carlos Takam (Lost most recent bout)
  • Mike Perez (Lost most recent bout)
  • Andy Ruiz (Good, young undefeated Mexican prospect but is not well known)

And keep in mind, because Klitschko will be fighting in the U.S. and on HBO, he'll need an opponent Americans are familiar with.

An alternative to Briggs and Jennings would be combacking former light heavyweight champion-turned-heavyweight contender Antonio Tarver who played Mason 'The Line' Dixon, Rocky's boastful opponent in the sixth Rocky series installment, 'Rocky Balboa' (2006).

A youthful and well-preserved 46, Tarver ended his 13-month hiatus by knocking out Klitschko trainer and formidable contender Johnathon Banks in December.

Will Klitschko attempt to avenge his trainer's loss by fighting Tarver next or will he face Briggs?

... Or perhaps the Klitschko and Jennings camps will settle their differences and make a deal.

Klitschko vs Briggs News, Stalking and Antics


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