No interim title for Ibragimov


No interim title for Ibragimov

Frustrated heavyweight seeks opponent for March 10 non-title bout

The WBO ruled today to grant its heavyweight champion, Shannon Briggs, a 45-day medical extension for his mandatory defense against Sultan Ibragimov. Briggs was diagnosed with pneumonia about a month before his defense against Ibragimov, scheduled for March 10, 2007. The WBO also ruled that Ibragimov cannot go down the list of available contenders to fight for an interim title while Briggs recuperates. The ruling leaves Ibragimov and his promoters to their own resources in an attempt to salvage the March 10th date at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Ibragimov's promoter reports that heavyweights Ray Mercer, Dominick Guinn, Taurus Sykes, and Lou Savarese have all said no to the chance to fight Ibragimov.

In a relase issued by promoter Warriors Boxing, Ibragimov minced no words when it came to the topic of the Brooklyn-born Briggs and the rest of the heavyweight division. “It seems that everything having to do with Briggs is attached to an excuse,” said Ibragimov.  “I don’t understand why he just can’t get in the ring and fight.  We all get aches and pains and little sicknesses when we’re preparing for a fight, but the real fighters fight through them. Unfortunately, it seems there aren’t any real fighters left.”

Heavyweights Ray Mercer, Dominick Guinn, Taurus Sykes, and Lou Savarese, among others, were all offered substantial paydays to battle the unbeaten Ibragimov on March 10th, but they refuse to get in the ring with the top contender in the game today. “I’m disgusted, but at the same time I’m not surprised that these so-called fighters won’t fight me,” said Ibragimov in the release.  “They’re all like Briggs – no heart.”

The bout between Briggs and Ibragimov will be rescheduled. “The weather will be nicer so Briggs may show up to defend his title,” said Ibragimov.  “Unless he gets a sunstroke and has to pull out again.”