Heavyweight contenders Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs and Fres Oquendo faced off for the first time today (Tuesday, May 9) before they battle for the WBA Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, June 3 in the main event of Backyard Brawl: Briggs vs. Oquendo taking place at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The two-time heavyweight champion Briggs and three-time title challenger Oquendo participated in a highly energetic press conference at Hard Rock Live as both men, along with representatives from their camps, proclaimed victory on June 3. Also in attendance were a trio of former Heavyweight champions who plan on attending fight night including Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Briggs' trainer Chris Byrd, adding to the anticipation for the Heavyweight title bout.
Tickets are on sale now and are priced at $75, $100, $150, $250 and $500; ringside seats are sold for $1,000; ringside tables with six seats are $5,500 and 10 seats are $11,000 (plus a $5 Facility Maintenance fee applies). All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. *Additional fees may apply.
Here is what the participants had to say:
"This has been a long journey. Five years ago, I was depressed and out of the boxing game, but then my daughter was born. I took a stand. I said that I'm going to do this for her. Everyone doubted me. When I met with Kris Lawrence, he listened to me talk for hours on a Monday and then on Friday he called me and said 'Let's Go Champ!' That was the beginning of the comeback. I lost 145 pounds and I went around the world, meeting people and trying to inspire them, but they were inspiring me too. It's a huge motivation to me to see these people and get the response from people who say that I was able to inspire them."
"It's a pleasure to be here for this historic event. Shannon and I go way back. We're gentlemen of the sport. We carry ourselves with dignity. We're going to go after it. We actually shared a twin bill on my HBO debut in 2001. That was a special night for me. I'm thankful to Shannon for stepping up and facing a fighter of my caliber. I'm going to go in there with everything that I have. It's not going to be easy in there for him. I'm dedicating this fight to my son's friend Jaxon King, who passed away last year at five years old. I have a non-profit that helps a lot of at risk youth in Chicago because I was one of those kids. They all mean so much to me and I'm going to have Jaxon in my heart that day and give me the extra edge to do what I have to do."