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LEWIS NOW TARGETS BRIGGS OR DOUGLAS

With a heavyweight unification bout against Evander Holyfield ruled out for now, Lennox Lewis plans to make his next title defense against Shannon Briggs or Buster Douglas.

A bout against either one would take place March 28, probably in Atlantic City, N.J., Lewis and his manager, Frank Maloney, said.

"I'm just looking forward to getting on with my career and eventually I will unify the belts one way or another," said Lewis, the WBC champion. "Defending against Briggs or Douglas is not like fighting Holyfield, but I know I'll have to be 100 percent because those men want to take the title away from me."

Maloney said he made contingency plans in the event the Holyfield fight didn't come off.

"We've continued to look in other directions," he said. "We lost the March 7 date, but now we've got March 28, so we're going full ahead with that."

Briggs won a 12-round majority decision over George Foreman on Nov. 20 at Atlantic City. The outcome was so startling that even Briggs (30-1) was surprised to be declared the winner.

Douglas is 6-0 since returning from a six-year absence. He rocketed to prominence by knocking out Mike Tyson in 1990 but soon lost the title to Holyfield.

Hopes for unification rose when Lewis' promoter said a $50 million deal was struck, and the fight was scheduled for April 25 in Las Vegas.

Talks between HBO and Holyfield, the WBA and IBF champion, broke off Tuesday because of a disagreement over the money Holyfield would be guaranteed to fight Lewis.

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