Boxing


Shannon Briggs Plans To Be Down To 260-Pounds For Comeback Fight On Saturday, Will Reportedly Face Arron Lyons

by James Slater - Former linear heavyweight champion of the world Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs makes a return to the ring this Saturday evening in Phoenix, as regular readers of this web site will already know. Now aged 37 and inactive since his disappointing points loss to Sultan Ibragimov in June of 2007, Briggs says he is coming back because he is "disgusted" with the current state of the division he once ruled. In an article that has appeared in The Arizona Republic, Briggs has spoken about how he plans to work his way back towards contention and then - to provide the paying fans with the action they should be getting from today's big guys but aren't - dethrone the "boring" Klitschko brothers who are atop the heavyweight mountain right now..

During his near two-and-a-half year absence from the ring, Briggs ballooned up to a hefty 334-pounds. However, according to The Arizona Republic, Shannon is now down to 270 and plans to enter the ring on Saturday, against the little-known Arron Lyons, at an even lower weight of 260. Boxing on the same card as the also returning Vassiliy Jirov, Briggs will return to "What he is good at."

"I realized I was born to do this until I can't do it anymore," Briggs told The Arizona Republic. "This is what I'm good at. This is the only job [where] I can get $2 million in one night."

No doubt, Brigs is taking a baby step back into action by fighting Lyons, a 28-year-old from New Mexico. With a lowly pro record of 9-7(7) Lyons has lost his last four, and he has won only four of his last 11 outings. On the positive side, Lyons has never once been stopped as a pro, and he has been active recently, boxing three fights this year already. A pro since early 2006, the 6'1" approx 220-pounder has been in with a couple of so-so fighters, such as the then unbeaten Joey Abell (who Lyons stopped in the 1st-round) and the then 21-1 Johnnie White (who out-pointed Lyons in his most recent fight, last month).

And, with all but two of his wins coming by stoppage, Lyons can at least bang a little. Briggs could have picked a softer comeback foe, that's for sure.

And Briggs hopes to get as far as facing one or both of the Klitschko brothers; two fighters he says are failing the fans when it comes to giving them excitement.

"You're the heavyweight champion of the world. You have to make a statement," Briggs said. "People are paying millions of dollars. They want to see a car crash. You have to go across the ring and make a smash. They [the Klitschkos] don't care about the fans. They don't care about the sport enough. I've been literally told by people that after watching a Klitschko fight, 'I fell asleep.'"

Briggs' purported motives for coming back - to restore drama to a division that some say is in dire need of it, and to provide value for money - will likely get a number of fans on his side and rooting for him. But can the inactive former asthma sufferer really beat either heavyweight champion?

Briggs says if he isn't the U.S big man to do it, he doesn't know who else there is.

"I'm the last American-born heavyweight champion, and I'll be the next," he said. "And my question to the media and the world is, 'if not me, who?'"

Let's see how Briggs looks on Saturday against Lyons.

Article posted on 13.10.2009



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