Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |


‘Atypical finding’ in Briggs doping test, Oquendo fight in jeopardy


The heavyweight fight between Shannon Briggs and Fres Oquendo is in danger of being canceled because of elevated testosterone in a urine sample taken from Briggs, a source told on Monday. ESPN first reported the news.

The sample revealed the “atypical finding” during a routine anti-doping collection by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, according to the source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of drug testing.

Results are pending from an isotope ratio mass spectrometry test, which can determine whether testosterone levels are exogenous or endogenous. An exogenous variable is one that is not affected by other variables in the person’s system, while endogenous is influenced by other factors.

According to ESPN, Briggs’ testosterone to epitestosterone ratio was 7.89 to 1. The allowable threshold under World Anti-Doping Agency standards is 4 to 1.

The fight — scheduled for June 3 in Hollywood, Florida — between irrelevant heavyweights in their 40s for WBA’s bogus regular title was made because of a court order after Oquendo sued the organization and won. Anthony Joshua is the WBA’s recognized heavyweight titleholder.

Briggs (60-6-1, 53 knockouts) last competed in a meaningful bout when he was pummeled by Vitali Klitschko in 2010, but the Brooklynite rose to prominence afterward due to his popular social media accounts, dominated by his catchphrase “Let’s go champ!”

The 45-year-old has reeled off 10 consecutive wins since a lengthy hospital stay following the Klitschko defeat, albeit against limited opposition.

“The Cannon” long tried to coax Klitschko’s brother, Wladimir, into a fight, and even followed the Ukrainian during a paddleboarding excursion in Florida.

The last time Briggs was relevant for athletic reasons? When he scored a 12th-round KO of Sergey Liakhovich in 2006. Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs) became relevant again only because of his court victory. The 44-year-old hasn’t competed since a 2014 majority-decision defeat to Ruslan Chagaev for this same vacant title.

The Puerto Rico native had shoulder surgery in late 2015.