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Shannon Briggs HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING RETURN – Wladimir Klitschko, Deontay Wilder, Championship Goal & More – Boxing News

By Geno McGahee

On October 16th, 2010, Shannon Briggs, 51-6-1, 45 KO’s, would take the worst beating of his career at the then WBC heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko. It was such a one-sided beating that many asked why it wasn’t stopped prior to the 12th round. Making matters worse, Briggs was not paid for the fight according to several reports. It was a sour note for the heavyweight to leave the sport on and he hopes to remedy that with a return to the ring at 42 years of age.

A recent verbal war at a gym between the king of the heavyweight division, Wladimir Klitschko and Briggs has become a viral video, and Briggs, never at a loss for words, has made his opinions of the division, the champion, and himself obvious. He is not impressed and is planning to give the sport one more run.

Briggs would start his career in 1992 at 205 pounds. In 2007, he was coming in at 273 pounds. His weight didn’t matter much as he plowed over limited opposition, but in his big fights, we would not see much difference in preparation. When he won the WBO heavyweight title from Sergei Liakhovich, he was 268 pounds, and came from behind to win. He fought that fight very methodically due to his lack of conditioning. He would lose in his first defense to Sultan Ibragimov and he weighed 273 for that. After four straight wins over carefully selected opposition, a 262 pound Briggs would take on Vitali and would lose.

The best weight for Briggs is 230 pounds. He showed against the best heavyweight of his generation, Lennox Lewis, that he was more than hype when he stunned the champ on multiple occasions en route to a courageous knockout defeat. When you track the weight and performances, you see the story. At 230 pounds, Briggs is quick and active. At 270 pounds, he’s lethargic and slow. He possesses the same power at both weights, but the quick Briggs is the dangerous one.

How dangerous is a 42 year old Briggs? With his punch, he’s dangerous to any heavyweight, really, and with his added focus, maybe he’s more dangerous, but we will have to see. It’s easy to get excited over the guys from the past that brought so much excitement and then reality hits. David Tua comes to mind. He was one victory away from a title shot and he lost badly. Ray Mercer looked like the “old Ray Mercer” and then became the literal old Ray Mercer in the ring.

Most former champions return to the ring. It’s in the nature of the warrior to do so and Briggs is probably looking to answer the questions he has for himself going into this return. Expect some hand-picked opposition leading to a shot at a contender or maybe he’ll get what he wants with Wlad. It’s hard to imagine Wlad losing at this point in his career with the way he’s been fighting, but Briggs wants the chance.

In a recent interview, Briggs noted that he didn’t think much of Deontay Wilder, and considering that he went 12 rounds with Vitali, and was only stopped twice in his career, it would be a test of his power, and maybe his chin if Briggs could get off.

The two biggest things going into this comeback are the age and the amount of miles on the engine. Briggs has been through a lot of wars and if the lethargic nature of his most recent performances are as much due to his weight as it is the amount of punishment he’s endured, no amount of slimming down will change it.

Much like David Tua, Briggs will be an attraction and the people will start to believe again. As he pummels no-hopers, the boxing fans, eager for a charismatic heavyweight will shift focus back to Briggs and support him, but can he defeat Father Time? The odds are stacked high against him, but he’s brought some genuine interest back into heavyweight boxing and to himself without even lacing up the gloves. Well, he did throw a shoe.

Can Shannon Briggs regain the heavyweight title?

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