- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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I don't give former heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs much of a shot to dethrone Vitali Klitschko when they meet on Oct. 16 in Hamburg, Germany -- a fight that can be seen live on ESPN3.com (thank you, Bristol suits!) and on tape the following day on ESPN.com.
Briggs hasn't won a meaningful fight since 2006, when, trailing on all three cards, he knocked out Sergei Liakhovich with one second left in the fight to win an alphabet belt.
Before that, you'd have to go all the way back to 1997 for his massively disputed majority decision win against George Foreman, which gave Briggs a claim on the lineal title.
Mostly, Briggs beats up on nobodies and pads his record. So even though Briggs is a huge underdog to beat Klitschko, one thing is good about the fight: Briggs will entertain with his big mouth during the buildup. What has always been fun about Briggs is that when he talks trash about his opponents, it's never with real nastiness. He's usually more humorous than mean, which is rare to find these days.
So because this is probably Briggs' last shot at a major title, let's see what he has to say about his upcoming fight, shall we? Because as always, he's talking a good game before the bell rings.
"If Vitali thinks he's going to have the kind of easy night his brother had [on Sept. 11], he's in for a shock," Briggs said.
Briggs (51-5-1, 45 KOs) was talking about champion Wladimir Klitschko's 10th-round destruction of former titlist Samuel Peter in their rematch.
"After two rounds, Samuel Peter became a human punching bag," Briggs said. "When I finally get Vitali in that ring, he's going to be up against a determined Shannon Briggs. I'm his size. I'm even more powerful than he is. He can't keep me away by holding out his left arm and trying to wrap me up like those Klitschkos usually do. Vitali's next fight will be nothing like Wladimir's last fight. He is going to be fighting for his life from the opening bell."
You have to love Briggs' audacity. He's already thinking ahead to what's next after he (yeah, right) defeats Vitali.
"Vitali is just the beginning," Briggs said. "After I take him out, [heavyweight titlist] David Haye, the little cruiserweight with the heavyweight mouth, is next -- and then Wladimir after that."
Briggs, who suffers from asthma -- and never let's you forget it -- took exception to Haye's recent remarks mocking his condition.
"In David Haye's recent silly video rant explaining why he's terrified to fight the Klitschkos, he made a comment calling me Shannon 'I need my asthma pump' Briggs. That was an insult not only to me but to people worldwide who suffer from the disease," Briggs said. "Because of that, he has now moved himself into the No. 2 slot after Vitali. Originally, the plan was to knock off Wladimir after I rid the boxing world of Vitali's flailing kung-fu octopus style. But Haye's now No. 2 on 'The Cannon's' hit list."
Briggs' talk is always fun. If only he could ever deliver in the ring.
I don't give former heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs much of a shot to dethrone Vitali Klitschko when they meet on Oct. 16 in Hamburg, Germany -- a fight that can be seen live on ESPN3.