On this weeks edition of Boxing Insider Radio, former Heavyweight titlist Shannon Briggs stopped by to have a discussion with our panel. He gave his thoughts on Wilder vs Fury 2 as well as his interest in Bare Knuckle Boxing as well. To check out the conversation, make sure you subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify and on Boxinginsider.com
There just aren’t many moments in the sport of boxing that will leave you speechless. Forget about just the sport of boxing, the entire sports world was left with their jaws wide open just a few short weeks ago. The reason behind everyone’s dumbstruck moment is Tyson Fury.
The new WBC Heavyweight titlist and current Lineal champion didn’t just beat Deontay Wilder on February 22nd, at the MGM Grand Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada. He beat him down.
After their first contest which took place on December 1st, 2018, was such a close contest, many were anticipating the same. No one expected Fury to run right through Wilder. But that is exactly what he did.
Two knockdowns coupled with several lopsided rounds, equaled to Fury stopping Wilder in the seventh round of their highly anticipated rematch.
In an interview on Boxing Insider Radio, former Heavyweight world champion Shannon Briggs joined the crew to describe how he was feeling on the night. Much like the rest of the world, Briggs was surprised to see how Fury went about his business on the night. But truth be told, he shouldn’t be.
“Man I couldn’t believe it,” said Briggs on Boxing Insider Radio. “I was trying to give Fury some advice by telling him to box. I was saying champ, box. But he was like nah I’m knocking him out. So he did what he said he was going to do. Now he is the WBC Heavyweight champion of the world and a man of his word.”
Wilder didn’t just represent one of the most dominant Heavyweight champions in recent memory. He was also perceived as a bully. It wasn’t that Wilder picked on lesser opponents to make an example out of them. No, he picked on everyone. Whether you were his size or towering over him, he didn’t care. The former champion simply wanted to prove that he was the best in the world. And for five years he did.
Now however, not so much.
We all know how the story of a bully usually unfolds. After picking on everyone in school, he eventually meets his match on the playground and is beaten to a pulp while the entire school laughs in his direction. While some did just that to Wilder, most notably WBC interim champion Dillian Whyte, Briggs doesn’t find anything funny about the former champs situation. In fact, he feels sorry for him.
“Wilder is still our champion. He’s American and our black brother but my boy Fury went in there and just dominated. He really just beat him up. I was just in shock. I couldn’t believe it and I actually felt sorry for him. I think he is going to be humbled a lot. He’s a one trick pony, he can hit hard but he can’t fight on the inside. He’s going to need to be able to do that.”
With Wilder waiting no more than 24 hours to activate his immediate rematch clause, there aren’t many, if any, that are giving him a chance to regain his championship status. Who can blame them? In no way was Wilder even remotely competitive in his loss to Fury.
While picking against Wilder might be the smart decision, if history has told us before, anything can happen.
“It was a bad beating and it could be hard to come back from that but who am I say? I saw Manny Pacquiao get knocked out by Juan Manuael Marquez and come back to not only win a title, but do a lot more things. So Wilder can do the same thing as well.”
While it may seem as though Wilder has reached the end of his championship road, the now 48 year old Briggs is just getting started on his.
“It ain’t over champ. I’m looking forward to fighting in April or in May. I ain’t going nowhere, I’m still having fun. I’m 48,000 years old but I’m still having fun. I’m just trying to get the rust off, I’ve been off for a few years. I’ve been doing other things outside of the gym. I’m an entrepreneur. But I’m back in the gym and I’m feeling good.”
For those who caught the latter part of Briggs career, you are more likely to remember the huge 6 feet 4 inch tall former titlist screaming at the top of his lungs his most famous catchphrase. “Lets go champ!”
If you believe that Briggs has taken on that persona as a way to stay relevant, then you would be wrong. But you would also be right as well.
The former Heavyweight champion has managed to keep his name in the Heavyweight mix, although he hasn’t fought an actual fight since 2016. A knockout win over the unheralded Emilio Ezequiel Zarate. Four years away from the game would leave you to believe that he’s hung up the gloves for good.
Well, he sort of did.
But while it may seem as though he hung up his boxing gloves, it seems as though he was merely trading them in for a smaller pair.
“I’m getting into Bare Knuckle Boxing in May. As long as they get their money right then it’s a fight. Bare knuckle is taking off right now. It’s hot and big right now so I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Transitioning from boxing to Bare Knuckle does make sense. With as much money as Briggs has, he doesn’t seem to own a shirt as he is always seen in public showing off his physique and daring anyone to step up to him.
With Bare Knuckle Boxing not just on his radar but in his immediate plans, Briggs still takes the time to take notice of the Heavyweight division and its new faces.
“There’s some big boys coming. Joe Joyce got a big fight with Daniel Dubois coming up. You got Big Baby Miller so I want to see what he’s going to do with his comeback. You got Dillian Whyte out there as well.”
Don’t be fooled by the addition of the young guns that the division is producing. Also pay little attention to Briggs and his venture into Bare Knuckle Boxing. The former Heavyweight champ has made it clear that although the division is stacked, there is still room for one more big name.
“I think there’s still room for me. Even at 48,000 years old.”
While Briggs focuses on making a successful return to the boxing ring and a splash debut in the Bare Knuckle world, he still finds time to do other things as well. It may seem as though Briggs only knows how to fight, but it turns out there is more to him than just that.
“I got involved with the cannabis business. Right now my products can be found in a dispensary in Los Angeles. Were stocking the shelves with Cannon OG, that’s the name of the brand. It’s a great product but it isn’t for everybody. I just know that it works for me.”
Briggs isn’t the first athlete to try his hand in the cannabis profession. But unlike most, he isn’t simply looking to make a few extra bucks. Cannabis has actually helped turn his life around.
“I suffered from major depression about 10 or 11 years ago. I had a nervous breakdown and I was just doing very bad. I was taking prescription drugs but it was making things worse. I actually ballooned up to 403 pounds. Soon I was introduced to cannabis as a treatment. People that were suffering from traumatic head injuries, war and things like that were using cannabis and it was helping them, so I decided to give it a try. I lost 168 pounds and I started feeling great. My goal is to help people just like cannabis helped me.”
“I’m doing quite a few things in the cannabis business, data business, digital marketing and a few other things. Just building something for the future and having something to fall back on. Especially for fighters, and that’s why I try to hire a lot of former fighters in the businesses that I’m in. What a lot of people don’t know is that a lot of fighters fall under the poverty line after they retire. So I just want to help as many fighters and people in general that I can.”
It isn’t just business ventures that are on the mind of Briggs. Coming out of Brownsville in Brooklyn, New York, the former champ has an interesting story. Not many can turn their cell phones on and call up one of the great fighters of all-time in Mike Tyson.
With Briggs and Tyson sharing a New York bond, it only made sense that his documentary discuss a bit of his relationship with him.
For years Tyson has always given off the impression that he’s the baddest man on the planet and that he can’t be beaten. Many of his fans simply sit back from afar and admire him, rather than step up to the former multiple time champion to ask for an autograph.
While it’s understandable, Briggs lets all of us on the softer side of Tyson. If there even is one.
“Were from Brownsville, Brooklyn, and even though he is a few years older than me, we still grew up around the same people. When you grow up in a place like Brownsville, you have a certain mindset that you aren’t going to take shit from anyone. Mike is a good dude. He’s very intelligent and a very strong person. I don’t think I could’ve survived what he went through. At 20 years old he had 100 million dollars. I couldn’t even imagine that at such a young age. Then also going through the death of his daughter. On top of that, to go to prison and to get accused of rape. Just so many things happened to him that weren’t fair. But to see him still alive and thriving it’s amazing.”
To say that Briggs has his hands full would be an understatement. Although his time is spent preparing for his Bare Knuckle Boxing debut, working on a documentary and managing all of his side businesses, Briggs still eyes one more comeback to the ring to relive his old glory.
“I’m almost 50 but I’m ready for everybody. Right now it’s looking like Fury is the best Heavyweight in the world. He showed something that nobody else could. He went in there and knocked out Wilder, but he didn’t just knock him out, he beat the shit out of him. But with that being said, I can’t wait to get back in the ring and become the oldest Heavyweight champ in history.”
As is always the case, Boxing Insider Radio continues to bring the fans the sort of up close coverage that they need. Every Tuesday some of the biggest names associated with the sport, stops by to discuss what’s going on in the boxing world. To tune into the conversation, simply subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify and on Boxinginsider.com.