Danny Green To Face Paul Briggs In Sydney, July 21st

by James Slater - Australian hero and reigning IBO cruiserweight champion Danny Green is set to face his former sparring partner in his next fight, as the man who sensationally stopped Roy Jones Junior in a round late last year will defend his belt against fellow Australian and former WBC light-heavyweight title challenger Paul Briggs. Briggs, inactive since his July 2007 points win over Rupert van Aswegen, a win that took "Hurricane's" pro record to 26-3(18), says he has now overcome the problems he had with his adrenaline and nervous system (the reason he retired) and is fit and ready to return.

34-year-old Briggs, who reportedly pushed Green as hard as can be when sparring with him, has been stopped just once - way back in 1997, when Larl Zada stopped him in what was just his second pro fight (KO 3) - and if he can overcome the ring-rust he just might give "The Green Machine" another hard night's work; this time with a "world" title on the line..

Green, the older man at 37 and with a 29-3(26) pro record (during which he has never been stopped), is on a roll at the moment; having won his last eight fights and having seen off Jones Junior and last time out, Manny Siaca, in quick time. With the IBO 200-pound champ being the naturally bigger man (even though Green is no massive cruiser, having fought only as high as 184-pounds), the bigger puncher and the far more active fighter, it's clear he must be made the favourite against Briggs. And a pretty big one at that.

Still, Briggs, in his day, was a fine fighter. Coming up short in two WBC 175-pound title challenges of Poland's Tomasz Adamek is nothing to be ashamed of, and Briggs did manage wins over good fighters such as Stipe Drews and (a somewhat faded) Jorge Castro. Another reason Briggs cannot be written off against Green is because he knows him so well from all the sparring they did together. Had this fight come around a couple of years ago, at light-heavyweight, we would have had ourselves a very close-looking fight. Now, though, with Briggs having been out for so long, and with him moving up in weight and going right back in with someone of Green's calibre without a tune-up, Green looks set to continue his reign.

But can Green, who has stopped his last four opponents, get a stoppage on July 21st? Briggs is certainly up for the fight, and he says he is already in great shape.

"I'm in great shape," Briggs is quoted as saying by Yahoo Sports. "My version of out of shape is the average person's super-fit!"

Something tells me that despite Briggs' inactivity, we will see a competitive rumble next month. Green has to be the pick to win, of course, but the IBO champ might just find himself having his toughest fight in quite a while.

Article posted on 03.06.2010

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