By Miguel Rivera
The World Boxing Association has ordered a purse bid between former world champion Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs and Puerto Rican contender Fres Oquendo for the vacant "regular" heavyweight title of the WBA.
The two teams were called to negotiate on the 2nd of January and they were given a deadline of 30 days before a purse bid was finally called. Because tehre has been no agreement between them, the WBA's Championships Committee has ordered the bid.
The percentage of the split will be the same with 50% for both, because the belt is vacant and the minimum amount for this purse bid will be one million dollars. The purse bid will be held on February 13 at the offices of the WBA in Panama City and will be directed by the Panamanian Aurelio Fiengo, who is a WBA board member.
The winner will have the obligation to defend the title against Russia's Alexander Ustinov, who is ranked third under the WBA.
Briggs, 45, has a record of 60-6-1 with 53 knockouts. He was heavyweight champion of the World Boxing Organization.
Oquendo, 43, has a record of 37-8, with 24 wins by knockout.. He challenged for a heavyweight title on three occasions, losing in his last attempt in July 2014 against Ruslan Chagaev, for the same WBA heavyweight title.
The WBA's "super" title at heavyweight will be up for grabs on April 29th, when Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko collide at Wembley in London. The winner of that contest has to make a mandatory defense against Luis Ortiz.
After the smoke settles, the overall winners of the WBA "regular" and "super" title brackets will have to fight each other to establish a single champion as the organization is working hard to consolidate all of their world titles in each weight class.