Boxing


Shannon Briggs: Exclusive Interview - "I'm Going To Retire Wladimir Klitschko"

karen belford25.07.06 - By Karen Belford: Recently, I had the great pleasure to speak with Shannon Briggs (47-4-1, 41 KO's), who will likely be facing Wladimir Klitschko (46-3, 41 KO's), the IBF heavyweight champion, on November 11th, at Madison Square Garden, in New York. Of all the heavyweights that Wladimir has during his career, I think that Shannon Briggs is the most talented by far. At 6'4" 270 lbs, Briggs is a towering fighter, almost as large as Wladimir, but with faster hands and a power punch that is equally as hard. Beyond that, Brigg's has the tougher chin, I think, along with the more courageous fighting spirit.

During the interview, besides his nice voice, which is very calm and soothing to listen to, I was very impressed with Shannon's self confidence, for I can't ever remember speaking to someone had such a firm belief in himself. He's very certain that he'll beat Wladimir Klitschko, which almost made me feel sorry for Wladimir, for he appears to have a very tough task ahead of him. More than that, it's almost a no-win situation for Wladimir, since if he beats Briggs, people will likely dismiss the win, pointing out that Briggs has not faced top level opposition in recent fights, and making the assertion that Briggs didn't deserve the fight in the first place.

Consider, if you will, the very real possibility that Wladimir may, indeed, lose to Briggs. At this point, a loss to Briggs would be a catastrophic event for Wladimir, possibly putting a halt to his career. Certainly, with only four loses, Wladimir could come back, but the kind of punches that he will have absorbed from a beating by Briggs, would likely be career threatening, in my estimation. When Brigg's punches, it's like freight train, and it's scary for me to imagine the effects from such raw power.

Personally, I think Wladimir, mostly by running and clinching, will find some early success in avoiding Brigg’s early attack-style offense. However, sooner or later, just like in poker, you have to show your cards. And when it happens, Briggs, in my estimation, will be all over Wladimir, landing a hail of power punches and quickly knocking Wladimir out.

Karen Belford: Hello Shannon, it's good to talk with you. Can you tell us whether or not your fight with Wladimir Klitschko has been signed yet?

Shannon Briggs: No, it hasn't been signed as of yet, but we'll have the contract signed Monday or Tuesday.

Karen Belford: What are your plans to defeat Wladimir Klitschko.

Shannon Briggs: I'm going to knock him out. I'm going to apply pressure when I need to. I'm going to box him, you know? I'm going to be on top of my game 100%, so Wladimir can't beat me.

Karen Belford: Do you think Wladimir can take your power.

Shannon Briggs: I don't think so. I mean, I have 41 knockouts for a reason. I don't think Wladimir has faced anyone with the complete package. I mean, he fought Samuel Peter, but Peter's just a slugger. I can box, I can punch, whatever way you want to go, I can do.

Karen Belford: What do you think will happen when you connect with Wladimir's chin.

Shannon Briggs: I'm going to come in and knock him out in the first round.

Karen Belford: Do you think Wladimir can hit as hard as you?

Shannon Briggs: He's a very hard puncher and a fast boxer, but, you know, it's going to be a great fight. We're pretty evenly matched in the power department. It's going to be my chin against his chin. Can he take my punch or can I take his punch.

Karen Belford: How do you rate yourself agaisnt the other top heavyweights? I personally think you're the number # 1 heavyweight.

Shannon Briggs: I think that, too. I feel like I'm the number # 1 heavyweight in the world. I have been there before. I've got the speed, I've got the power, I've got the experience over the other guys. Now, it's just a matter of winning the fight and bringing it on home.

Karen Belford: Why do you think Wladimir decided to fight you?

Shannon Briggs: I think it's a great fight for New York, because, you know, Calvin Brock hasn't had many fights, and he doesn't have the name or credibility; He's not an exciting fighter. I think Wladimir realises that he needs to fight the type of fighter that the people want to see.

Karen Belford: Why haven't you already become the heavyweight champion?

Shannon Briggs: I was champion already when I defeated George Foreman for the linear heavyweight championship, and this will be my 2nd title, so I'll be a two-time champion. (laughs)

Karen Belford: Do you think you'll retire Wladimir?

Shannon Briggs: That's the plan. I retired George Foreman, and now I'm going to retire Wladimir.

Karen Belford: What do you plan on doing after you become heavyweight champion?

Shannon Briggs: Defending the title, hopefully. Winning all those other heavyweight belts, then retire and go make movies in Germany and England, everywhere. I'm going to fight for another 3 to 4 years and then retire.

Karen Belford: What punch do you think you'll take Wladimir out with?

Shannon Briggs: I figure it's going to be the left hook.

Karen Belford: Thank you, Shannon, good luck. I think you're number # 1.

Shannon Briggs: Thank you very much, Karen, I appreciate the interview.

If you have any questions or comments, you can contact me at karenbelford1@yahoo.com

Article posted on 25.07.2006



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