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Klitschko announces Hamburg date for defense against American Briggs

WBC champion Vitali Klitschko has lived in Germany since 1996 after leaving his native Ukraine.
WBC champion Vitali Klitschko has lived in Germany since 1996 after leaving his native Ukraine.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • WBC champion Vitali Klitschko will return to adopted home city of Hamburg for defense
  • Ukrainian faces American fighter Shannon Briggs in Germany on October 16
  • His brother Wladimir is preparing for title clash with Samuel Peter on September 11
  • WBA champion David Haye reportedly in talks for bout with Audley Harrison

Vitali Klitschko has confirmed that he will defend his world heavyweight boxing title against former champion Shannon Briggs on October 16 in his adopted home city of Hamburg.

The Ukrainian last put his WBC belt up for grabs in May against Albert Sosnowski in what he has said will be his last year as a professional fighter.

The 39-year-old, who has successfully defended the crown four times, will face the American, 38, for the first time as he seeks to extend his 40-2 career record.

"I am really happy that I will have a fight in Hamburg again, the place where I started my professional career. The o2 World is a great arena and the fans in Hamburg are real box experts and will make a perfect atmosphere," Klitschko told his website.

For a long time I have been trying hard to fight a Klitschko. Most of their opponents are scared to death when they step into the ring
--Shannon Briggs
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"Shannon Briggs is not only big at talking but also big in the ring and a very tough challenger. He is more experienced than me, has more professional fights on his record and is one of the hardest punchers in the division. I will be very well prepared together with my trainer Fritz Sdunek."

Briggs, nicknamed "The Cannon," has a record of 51-5 with 45 victories by knockout -- 27 in the first round. He has previously beaten former world champions George Foreman, Ray Mercer and Sergej Liakhovich.

"For a long time I have been trying hard to fight a Klitschko. Most of their opponents are scared to death when they step into the ring. I will put a lot of pressure on Klitschko and take the fight to him. Klitschko can enjoy his belt for a few more weeks; after October 16 it will be mine!"

Klitschko's younger brother Wladimir, the IBF, WBO and IBO champion, will face former WBC titleholder Samuel Peter of Nigeria in another Germany-based bout in Frankfurt on September 11.

Britain's WBA beltholder David Haye, who both Klitschkos have accused of being scared to fight them, may next fight former Olympic champion Audley Harrison, according to promoter Barry Hearn.

Hearn, whose son Eddie is involved in the talks with Haye's manager Adam Booth, said the fight would be a boost for British boxing.

"In the heavyweight division, there is nothing else out there as far as British fight fans are concerned, Harrison-Haye is enormous," he told Sky Sports News.

"The fantastic thing about David Haye is that he's burst on the scene and done a fantastic job against [Nikolay] Valuev, boxed the ears off [John] Ruiz and put him into retirement. He's hot.

"Audley Harrison, in my opinion, is a bigger draw. People don't know what to expect from Audley Harrison, he's been talking a great fight for years, never delivered it. He's at that last-stage saloon -- every fight fan in England wants to see this fight."