Former WBO Heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs reportedly interrupted the South Florida camp of current Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Demanding a Title Fight
Briggs barged into Klitschko’s camp before the latter could start his morning sparring session last Tuesday. The 42 year old Briggs appeared to be ready to fight with his hands already taped. He trash-talked Klitschko and demanded a title fight from champion who had yet to put his gloves on. Briggs then got into Klitschko’s face before former heavyweight boxing champion Michael Moorer stepped into the ring to separate both men. Moorer is an assistant coach in the Klitschko camp.
Not the First Time
The incident wasn’t the first time that Briggs has interrupted Wladimir Klitschko and challenged him to a fight. Last April, Briggs stormed into a press conference for Wladimir’s fight against Alex Lepai and demanded a title shot. A couple of weeks before that, he also showed up the Kltishcko camp, dared Wladimir to a fight and then threw a shoe at the champion.
Briggs is the last American heavyweight boxing champion on record, having held the WBO version of the belt in 2006. But he lost it in the following year to Sultan Ibragimov during his first title defense. Briggs last challenged for the heavyweight title against Wladimir’s brother, Vitali in 2010 but he lost via unanimous decision. Since then, Briggs has been 4-0 with 3 KO’s. His last bout was a victory against Brazilian Raphael Zumbano Love which earned him the fringe NABA Heavyweight belt.
Briggs’ biggest victory came in 1997 when he defeated George Foreman for the lineal heavyweight title. He is known as the Cannon in the heavyweight ranks because of his punching power. Briggs owns the record for most first round knockouts in boxing’s heavyweight division with 33 KO’s. But his antics in the recent years have made him into a loose cannon desperately wanting a title shot.
Needs Better Opposition
But Briggs is just ranked #14 by the WBA as his last four opponents have been virtual unknowns. To get a shot at Klitschko, Briggs must step up his level of opposition in his next fights because although Wladimir has the right to use an optional title shot, it is unlikely that he’ll use it to fight Briggs, especially after how Briggs has insulted him in the past year.
Klitschko is due to fight the IBF’s mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on September 6 at the O2 Arena in Hamburg, Germany. Briggs might just show up there once again but if he’s really serious about getting one final crack at the heavyweight title, Shannon Briggs has got to start fighting better opposition before father time knocks him out.