FORMER heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs disrupted a news conference ahead of Wladimir Klitschko’s title bout against Alex Leapai – demanding a fight of his own against the reigning champion.
Briggs lost a 2010 WBC title bout against Klitschko’s elder brother Vitali – a fight that left the American hospitalised. He showed up at a news conference with Klitschko and Leapai and demanded a title fight against Klitschko in the US. Klitschko joked that he had to restrain Leapai, saying “I have never had to hold back my opponent at a press conference before.”
Klitschko will defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles against Australian challenger Leapai in Oberhausen on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Stuart Hall has vowed to extend his reign as IBF bantamweight champion when he takes on Ellesmere Port’s unbeaten Paul Butler in Newcastle on 7 June. The 34-year-old Hall made an unsatisfactory first defence of his title in March when opponent Martin Ward suffered a bad cut over his left eye in the second round of their bout.
But Hall said: “I’ve grown into being a world champion and I’m not letting my world title go. Paul’s a good young fighter but I’m too big and strong for him. It will show on the night.”