ON Sport, the exclusive management of the WBC’s No.2 rated contender Australian light heavyweight boxer Paul “Hurricane” Briggs has received news from the World Boxing Council (WBC) that the Board of Governors have voted to grant him an indirect rematch for the light heavyweight world championship following his narrow loss to Poland’s Tomasz Adamek on May 21 in Chicago.
The decision means that the WBC has sanctioned the world championship bout between Tomasz Adamek and German Thomas Ulrich on the strict condition that the winner must make an immediate mandatory defence against the Gold Coast slugger. The result means that Briggs, (23-2- 17 kos), will potentially fight for the WBC light heavyweight championship again before the end of 2005.
The WBC has reached this decision based on the closeness of the result between Briggs and Adamek in Chicago in what most judges have described as a candidate for fight of the year. The WBC also ruled that the cut suffered by Briggs in Round 2 as a result of an accidental clash of heads impeded the performance of Briggs by between 30-40%.
Briggs’ management team was delighted when told of the decision following some weeks of intense discussion and lobbying on behalf of their star fighter.
ON Corporation CEO Geoffrey Schuhkraft said of the news:
“This is great news for Paul Briggs and a reflection of the incredibly gutsy display Paul showed in Chicago against Adamek. It is also a great show of loyalty to Paul from the WBC for whom Paul publicly showed support at their time of greatest need.”
“We provided the WBC with detailed arguments in relation to the bad cut Paul suffered and the reduced effectiveness he had for the duration of the fight and the WBC in their wisdom accepted those arguments. This result means that Paul will receive another deserved shot at the world title, hopefully before the end of 2005, and we are delighted”.
In a further significant boost to Briggs, he has announced that he will now be trained by legendary Australian trainer Johnny Lewis. This move follows the decision of Briggs to sever ties with legendary two time international trainer of the year Jack Mosley. The decision was a mutual one between Briggs and Mosley who were together for his last two fights including the failed world title bid.
Briggs and Lewis met in Sydney following the trainers’ return from Manchester with his star pupil Kostya Tszyu and the two struck an immediate repore both inside and outside of the ring.
Lewis is one of the most successful trainers in boxing history having trained four boxers to world championships:
Jeff Fenech, Jeff Harding, Kostya Tszyu and US boxer Virgil Hill.
Briggs has no doubt that the new partnership will provide Lewis with his fifth world championship and himself with his first:
Of linking with Lewis Briggs said:
“I came down to Sydney and did a week of work with Johnny and we clicked straight away. I am confident that under Johnny I can improve the 10% I believe I need to improve to win a rematch with Adamek or defeat Ulrich to become world champion. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Jack who is an outstanding trainer and a close friend. Jack and I chatted about the future and we made the mutual decision to move on, I wish him all the best.”
“One of my favourite sayings is ‘jet planes don’t have rear view mirrors’ and I am not looking back at May 21, I am looking forward to my next chance at the title and to being 100 ready and focussed when it comes”.
Team Briggs is currently looking at a number of options in respect of a potential bout before the next world title shot with Briggs keen to stay very active and not wait around for his next shot.
“One thing I have learnt in the past 6 years is not to wait for fights to happen. I want to stay really active and I definitely would like to have at least one fight with Johnny before my next title fight, my management and promoter Don King are looking at a number of options. In the meantime I am relocating to Sydney with my family to start training with Johnny and to be honest I can’t wait to hit the gym – my hunger is most certainly still there”.
Briggs and Lewis will be appearing on the NRL Footy Show on the Nine Network on Thursday July 14 at 9:30 pm.