By Ed Baylor: After just six fights into his comeback, American heavyweight Shannon Briggs (57-6-1, 50 KOs) is poised to get a world title shot against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (63-3, 53 KOs) in September.
Briggs, 43, says he’ll be getting a world title shot against Wladimir or possibly sooner. Briggs says he could have gotten a fight against him sooner on April 25th, but he didn’t like the money offer that was made to him so he turned the fight down. But he seems to think that the money will be better if he faces Wladimir in September for some reason.
“I have a date with Klitschko set for September, if not sooner,” Briggs told Buncey’s Boxing Podcast on ESPN.co.uk. “His people have confirmed that – we’ve got a date. We’re looking at September. We’re looking at Hamburg, but hopefully we can change that venue to somewhere in America.”
If Briggs does get the fight against Wladimir, it’ll be an example of how it pays off for a heavyweight contender to stalk the champions and give them grief while they’re training, eating, relaxing in leisurely activities and when they’re at press conferences.
Briggs did all of those things in confronting Wladimir frequently and telling him he wanted a fight with him. It wasn’t recently that Briggs backed off. Presumably you would have to think that he did it due to Wladimir’s management telling him that he would be getting the fight.
Briggs is ranked #6 by the World Boxing Association, so you can make an argument that he deserves a title shot against Wladimir given his top 10 ranking by the WBA. However, in terms of the opposition that Briggs has fought during his comeback, you can’t say that he deserves to be in the ring with Wladimir.
Since his comeback in early 2014, Briggs has fought the following heavyweights: Richard Carmack, Cory Phelps, Raphael Zumbano Love, Matthew Greer, Francisco Mireles and Maurenzo Smith. None of the fights were competitive because of how awful these heavyweights were.
These fights were more like an execution than actual fights. In sign of how poor these heavyweights were, five of the six fights that Briggs has had in his comeback have ended in 1st round knockouts. It isn’t that Briggs is a good heavyweight; it’s that he’s facing guys that are so bad that he’s looking good.
Briggs fought Wladimir’s older brother Vitali Klitschko four years ago in 2010, and Briggs ended up taking a terrible beating in losing a 12 round unanimous decision. Briggs was hospitalized in Germany for two weeks after the fight. He suffered a torn left biceps, broken left orbital hone in his face, and a broken nose. He recovered his injuries in Hamburg’s Eppendorf University Hospital.
“This is the biggest fight in boxing right now,” Briggs said about his fight against Wladimir. “The world wants to see me and this man [Klitschko] fight.”