By Johnny Walker
Shannon Briggs, the veteran heavyweight last seen taking a hellacious beating from Vitali Klitschko in Germany that hospitalized him for two weeks, has announced his latest comeback on a new blog he’s started at www.boxingnewsonline.net.
Briggs has mainly gained attention since the Klitschko fight via a vicious, highly personal Twitter campaign he waged against ESPN.com boxing scribe Dan Rafael, in which he accused the writer of bias and corruption and repeatedly made fun of his weight. Briggs ended up shutting the Twitter account down when things got too heated.
Briggs’ new blog mixes in some serious commentary on boxing with the usual borderline delusional Briggs brand of braggadocio. Briggs claims he still hasn’t been paid for his fight with Vitali, but doesn’t inform us as to progress (or lack thereof) of his court case against former business partners Empire Sports and Entertainment, the people who he says stiffed him for the Klitschko bout. He does say that he has a new promoter, Garry Jonas, and a renewed appetite for the sweet science.
“I miss knocking people out, I miss the butterflies beforehand, I miss the competitive nature of the game. I have been working out for the last three weeks and I realised how good that makes you feel,” the always entertaining Briggs says.
“I missed being athletic all my life and then suddenly I just stopped and it was like, wow, after 10 months of not exercising it felt like rigor mortis was setting in.”
Briggs still has some serious reservations about what goes on in boxing outside of the ropes, however.
“I don’t miss the lying, the cheating, the stealing,” Briggs writes.
“I don’t miss the fact that fighters are taken advantage of all the time. I don’t miss the business side of it at all. So I’ll be coming back under different circumstances. I will not be robbed and taken advantage of. Let’s not forget that, as it stands, I fought the Klitschko fight for zero money. To this day, I still don’t know what the payday was supposed to be.
“With my new promoter, Garry Jonas, we’re going to do this right. He hasn’t got the bad heart that some of the guys I worked with recently have to the core. He’s a different guy, he’s a different person altogether.”
Briggs tries hard to make the case that he deserves another crack at the Klitschkos, even going so far as to say he had Vitali in trouble in the tenth round of their fight.
“I showed that I wouldn’t quit. If you look at his next fight, he fought Odlanier Solis, and the guy lost in the first round and he made $1.7million. How is he making that money and Shannon Briggs isn’t paid? He gets knocked out in the first round, an undefeated young man, gone inside three minutes. It proves to me more and more when I look back on my fight with Vitali that there’s unfinished business.
“I had him hurt in the 10th round. Klitschko buckled and he was ready to go! This was with one arm. I’ve got my desire back. I’m ready to embark on my mission, it’s not finished, I’m going to be heavyweight champion for the third time.”
While Briggs did land one solid punch on Klitschko in the tenth round of their one-sided fight, to say that the iron-chinned Vitali was “ready to go” is pure Briggs hyperbole. If Vitali was hurt in that fight, it was probably his fist that was injured from repeatedly connecting with Briggs’ face.
Briggs, however, does show a dash of humility when he says that he’s not ready for a title shot right away.
“I’m not about to jump out of the window and shout to everyone that I’m ready for a title shot now,” Briggs contends. “I’ve had 10 months off working on other products, I have to be realistic. I need to take a couple of tune-ups, prove I’m ready and then if the Klitschkos are still around, and let’s face it, it looks like nobody is going to get in their way, I will do what I was originally supposed to do: Knock them out.”
Welcome back, Shannon!