David Haye does not deserve the chance to fight for a world title, according to Lucas Browne, after the World Boxing Association confirmed that the Australian will fight Shannon Briggs for its ‘regular’ heavyweight belt.
Browne had been set to fight Puerto Rican Fres Oquendo, but the fight was cancelled after Oquendo pulled out because of a shoulder injury. As a result, the 37-year-old will fight Briggs, with a date and location to be confirmed.
The Australian last fought in March this year, where he beat Uzbekistani Ruslan Chagaev in March, only to be stripped for failing a drugs test, something he was cleared of after the governing body ruled that it was “unlikely” that he deliberately took performance-enhancing drugs.
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Haye had been interested in fighting for the belt, but the Brit, who is ranked number six in the world by the WBA, looks set to be in for a much longer wait after the winner of the upcoming Bronwe/Briggs fight was ordered to face Oquendo in a mandatory defence within 120 days.
Browne was unimpressed by Haye’s desire to fight for the title, saying: “Coming off a two-to three-year lay-off and coming back fighting two bums basically, how does that get you number one ranked in all three belts and then a world title shot by fighting two people that aren’t ranked and no one knows?
"I don’t think he deserves anything, no.”
Browne also echoed claims made by Briggs that Haye “backed out” of a fight between the two, and suggested that the American would be “too dangerous” if he came up against the 36-year-old.
"Just in regards to the UK fans, it's good that I can actually fight someone like Shannon Briggs that David Haye has avoided," said Browne.
“I know that David Haye said that if he did fight on his undercard and win, then he would fight him.
“I believe he has ducked him because he's too dangerous, but here I am fighting Shannon Briggs now. From my point of view, I think it's going to be an all-out war, two big boys, ready to bang and stand there, to give the crowd a good fight."
Browne also said that he expects to come up against Briggs before the end of the year, and is open to fighting in a number of different locations, including potentially Britain.
"As far as I'm aware, it has to be before December 31," said Browne, who is promoted by Ricky Hatton.
"Other than that, it's all up in the air, obviously it's the first day. I would love to have it here in Australia. I've been speaking to Shannon as well and he has no problem with coming to Australia.
"The only thing obviously is the money value. We need someone to come across with some dollars to back it up. There still is the chance of it going to America, possibly UK, even China. There are a few options there."