By Terence Dooley
Hayemaker Promotions have added Alexander Dimitrenko (38-2, 24 KOs) to the “Haye Day” bill on May 21 at London’s O2 Arena. The former EBU heavyweight titlist will meet Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs (59-6-1, 52 early) on the undercard of David Haye’s fight against Arnold Gjergjaj—the winner of Briggs-Dimitrenko will meet Haye later this year.
The Germany-based Russian is on a six-fight winning streak. His two blemishes came against Eddie Chambers and Kubrat Pulev (L MD 12 and KO 11 respectively). The 33-year-old has size and youth advantages over Briggs, 44, but the American is not fazed by the challenge.
Briggs said: “I don’t care if this guy is tipped for a future World Title, I am going to take him down in London. I don’t care if this guy is younger than me, taller than me or hits harder than me. I’m in the best shape of my life and have the experience to take this guy down. I was beating George Foreman when this guy was still learning to read. Once I’ve knocked him out, I’ll focus on taking David Haye down in his home town.”
He added: “I’m excited to put on a show for all my fans in the UK. It will be my first time fighting in this great country and the fans really embraced me when I was here earlier this month. This fight is just the warm up. I’ll finish Dimitrenko and I’ll celebrate, but then I’ll be back to finish the Hayemaker. He won’t be able to duck me any longer. Let’s go champ!”
Briggs came to the U.K. last month to chase down a showdown with Haye, who agreed to put him on his show following fan demand. Briggs had hoped to be Haye’s opponent, but will have to fight to earn the right to meet the former cruiserweight world Champion and WBA heavyweight titlist.
The former world title challenge has reeled off eight wins since being brutalised by Vital Klitschko in 2010, his last world title fight, yet the opposition has been modest. Dimitrenko will be the first serious test of his credentials since that decision loss to Klitschko for the WBC belt.
As for Dimitrenko, he is clearly unimpressed by Briggs’s proactive approach to securing the fights he craves. “Briggs is a loud fool, I will do my talking in the ring and he won’t know what’s hit him,” he said.
“The fight will see a former World Champion lose in epic style to a future World Champion. He is now the champ of Instagram but that’s where his reign ends. Briggs is going to learn first-hand what a hard hitter I am.”
“I’m thrilled to say that we’ve got another quality fighter appearing on the Haye Day undercard,” added Haye (27-2, 25 KOs). “Alexander Dimitrenko is a big guy and a heavy puncher and a real challenger for a World Title—I think he’ll cause Briggs some serious problems.
“If The Cannon does manage to walk away victorious, I’ll be surprised, but at the same time he’ll have proved his worth. It just means I get to be the one to knock him out—which is even better. The fans are in for a treat on May 21. We’ve put together a really strong card that I’m sure will get people pumped for the main event of the evening—my knockout win against ‘The Cobra’. Entertainment and excitement is guaranteed.”
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