Brooklyn's Briggs to challenge for Vitali's heavyweight title on Oct. 16
A lack of viable heavyweight challengers has forced
Klitschko (40-2, 38 KOs) will defend his WBC belt against former WBO champion Briggs (51-5, 45 KOs) on Oct. 16 at the O2 World Hamburg in Germany.
"I am really happy that I will have a fight in Hamburg again, the place where I started my professional career," Klitschko said. "The O2 World is a great arena and the fans in Hamburg are real boxing experts and will make a perfect atmosphere. Shannon Briggs is not only big at talking but also big in the ring and a very tough challenger. He is more experienced than me, has more professional fights on his record and is one of the hardest punchers in the division. I will be very well prepared."
Klitschko, who defended his title with a 10th-round knockout of
Klitschko had been seeking a fight with former WBA champion
"This is going to be a dramatic fight between two of the biggest punching heavyweights," said Klitschko's manager,
Briggs, 38, has won three straight fights against low-level competition since returning to boxing after a two-and-a-half-year layoff. In his first fight, Briggs knocked out
"For a long time I have been trying hard to fight a Klitschko," said Briggs, a Brooklyn native who hails from the same Brownsville neighborhood that produced
Boente is reportedly in negotiations with ESPN to broadcast the fight.