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George Foreman Winning a Title at 45 Influenced Others


By: Ken Hissner

On November 5th in 1994 at the MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, “Big” George Foreman regained the IBF and WBA Heavyweight title knocking out Michael Moorer in the 10th round. He was behind on point from the judges with scores of 88-83 twice and 86-85. Shortly after the fight Foreman was stripped of the WBA title for refusing to fight Tony Tucker.

One of the fighters Foreman influenced most was now 44 year old Shannon “Cannon” Briggs, 29-1, who was the last opponent in Foreman’s 81 fight career. It was thought Foreman was lucky to get by Germany’s Axel Schulz, 21-1-1, in April of 1995 and most felt he deserved the decision over Briggs losing 117-113, 116-112 and 114-114.

Briggs last fought on November 4th 2016 improving his record to 60-6-1 (53). He has been 9-0 since turning 40. He chased Wladimir “Dr. Steelhammer” Klitschko then champion for years. He won the WBO title on November 4th 2006 stopping Siarhei “White Wolf” Liakhovich. Liakkhovich in his last bout at 42 in October of 2017 stopped Ramon “Pantera” Olivas, 14-7, of Sonora, Mexico, in the 3rd round of a scheduled 6, in Sonora, Mexico.

Former WBC Heavyweight champion Oliver “The Atomic Bull” McCall, 57-14 (37), at 49 lost his last fight in April of 2014 to Marcin “Rex” Rekowski, 13-1, over 10 rounds in Poland, in a rematch that McCall won in February. He was 15-7 after the age of 40. He won the title in September of 1994.

Fres “The Big O” Oquendo, 37-8 (24), at 45 is scheduled to fight for the WBA World title on September 29th at Cologne, Germany, when he meets champion Manuel Charr, 31-4 (17), though Oquendo hasn’t fought in four years. He lost a disputed decision to Chris Byrd in September of 2003 for his IBF World title.

Like Oquendo 45 year-old southpaw Amir “Hardcore” Mansour, 23-2-1 (16), is still chasing a title opportunity. He has won 7 minor titles and has been in the world ratings. His last fight was in November 2017 ending in a NC3 over a clash of heads against Russia’s Sergey Kuzmin, 11-0, in Moscow.

Billy “Bronco” Wright, 52-4 (43), of Las Vegas, last fought in January of 2016 at the age of 51. He hadn’t lost since 1998 to Tony Tucker. He won his last 22 fights since then of which 9 of his last 11 fights were in Bolivia. He won the WBC FECARBOX, WBO Latino and interim PABA titles.

All of these heavyweights felt they could match what George Foreman did at age 45 winning the heavyweight title.

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Performance Enhancing Drugs in Combat Sports- What is Going On?!


By: Greg Houghton

Is it just me, or is it starting to get really frustrating continuously hearing about yet another star in combat sports testing positive for performance enhancing drugs?

It seems that, sure as the wind blows, we repeatedly hear of yet another pro athlete in combat sports who has been banned for using performance enhancing drugs.

If you look across the top ranked athletes in combat sports (in fact- contact sports in general including American football and rugby), most of those who are dominating their sport in this day and age are genetic freaks of nature that tower over their competition. In boxing, out of our world champions in the heavyweight division we’ve currently got Joseph Parker as our smallest who stands at 6”4 and weighs in at around 245lbs.

Arguably at the top of the heavyweight tree we have Anthony Joshua, at just shy of 6”7 and who came into the Wladimir Klitschko fight north of 250lbs. Anyone who saw that fight will be fully aware that this was over 250lbs of pure muscle.

In turn, the power that AJ is able to generate through his freakish genetics is such that he was able to do what only three before him had done in stopping ‘Dr. Steel Hammer’, a man with a professional record spanning over twenty years.

Size seems to be a prevalent thing as todays combat sports divisions are filled with huge athletes, with the bigger guy seemingly almost always having the upper hand. This is not just in the heavyweight division, anyone who saw Saul ‘Canelo” Alvarez fight Amir Khan last year will have struggled to comprehend Canelo weighing less than 175 in that fight, despite meeting their 160lbs weight limit the day before. We all remember how catastrophically this fight ended for Khan, although I doubt very much that he does.

So, it seems that for the most part, size is an advantage when in competition in combat sports. As we’ve established, the majority of the dominant forces across almost all contact sports today are genetic monsters who have been conditioning their cardio skills throughout their entire lives with the bodies they were born with. One way in which athletes, who have not been blessed with such rare genetics, can at least try to compete at this level is with a little help, so to speak.

As the doping tests become more and more vigorous and difficult for athletes in combat sports (throwback to how irritated GGG was at the Kell Brook weigh in on September 9th 2016, after a reported 11 hour shift with VADA in his hotel room the day before), we are seeing more and more athletes getting caught out. The annoyances resound right the way across combat sports as in MMA we’ve recently seen Jon Jones getting banned for an astounding third time!

A third time?! How on earth has this been allowed to happen?

Is a ban of a few months really enough? Granted, I’m not a professor in sports science, but it’s difficult to see how an athlete who was able to push their body’s cardiovascular and hypertrophy capabilities beyond it’s genetic potential through taking drugs, would not have an advantage over another athlete who was natural, sometimes as soon as six months later. Is this morally right? Should athletes who were caught doping be allowed back into the sport at all? It certainly doesn’t seem to be the populist view, we only have to observe the reaction that Justin Gatlin received time on time when facing Usain Bolt in competition. This very competition was labeled a number of times as good vs. evil.

It was with a very heavy heart that I read of Shannon Briggs’ testosterone levels measuring absurd times over the normal limit earlier this year. In fact, by being such a fan of the transformation that he’s made in his life (you’ve only got to hear his story on the Joe Rogan show to appreciate this), as well as his tongue-in-cheek promotional strategies which in turn made idiots of his competition, I and many others felt personally let down by hearing this news. Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Briggs joins Alexander Povetkin, Dillian Whyte and Lucas Browne as boxers from the heavyweight division alone, who have been banned for the use of PED’s in recent times.

Also as a huge fan of Jon Jones in the UFC, I… well, you know where this is going.

Evidence suggests that these days, the sports which we know and love, are seemingly dominated by the bigger guy. Therefore it stands to reason that this must affect the phycology of the fighter who faces them in the ring or the octagon. As these sports evolve, evidently so too does the genetic make up of those who reign within them. It’s easy to view performance-enhancing drugs as an attempted ‘leveling out’ of the genetic insufficiency, which many athletes today find themselves having. However, we must consider that if the shoe was on the other foot and todays naturally big athletes were the ones taking PED’s, the likes of Anthony Joshua would continue to develop their power beyond their genetic potential, lord knows to what effect.

And so, for the moment things will remain the same. Those who use performance enhancing drugs will continue to break the hearts of their loyal and adoring fans and be given as little as six months to go and think about what they’ve done, all the while training on the gains that PED’s could have initially given them. I’m not suggesting for a minute that these very athletes don’t work just as hard as those who are clean and don’t deserve to be where they are in their own sports. However, you have to feel for those who have grafted their whole lives without the use of performance enhancing drugs and have fallen slightly short because of this. If this is such a prevalent thing that combat sportsman must insist on defying their genetics, then perhaps it would be an idea to open a league of ‘natural’ boxers and MMA fighters, parallel to a league of those who insist on juicing.

The winners of the ‘not natural’ competitions could perhaps be part of a men’s support group, along with the ‘not natural’ bodybuilders of today and exchange ideas on how to inject safely. Either that or exchange ideas on safe Viagra consumption, in Jon Jones’ case…

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Boxing Insider Notebook: McGregor, Mayweather, Briggs, Davis, Russell, and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: McGregor, Mayweather, Briggs, Davis, Russell, and more…
By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 2nd to May 9th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

1shannonbriggs

Dana White Giving Up on McGregor vs. Mayweather?

Dana White was recently on Colin Cowherd’s show “The Herd” and he appeared to be growing tired of the negotiations to make McGregor vs. Mayweather and may be ready to give up on making the fight.

When asked if he was growing “tired of Mayweather’s crap” he responded, “It’s not even Mayweather. It’s not even Mayweather, it’s definitely both sides.” He went on to state, “It’s not just Mayweather, it’s both sides of this thing are going to be hard to get done. And absolutely, there’s going to be a point where I’m done. This isn’t what I do, this isn’t my business, and I’m definitely going to walk away.”

Dana White also stated earlier that Golovkin vs. Canelo took the planned date for Mayweather vs. McGregor. Is the planned fight between boxing and MMA’s biggest stars done? It’s doesn’t look good.
Julio Cesar Chavez Criticizes Junior’s Effort

CBS Sports recently reported on Julio Cesar Chavez Senior’s thoughts on his son’s efforts against Canelo Alvarez. In short, he wasn’t impressed.

Chavez Sr. simply stated, “ I am very disappointed.”

When asked about the weight, Chavez indicated he did not believe it had an impact. He stated, “No, no, no, no. Definitively no. It’s true, there is a sacrifice and everything, but I think here Julio lacked that thing that his father had more than enough of.”

Chavez further stated, “Yes, that’s the truth. He was too much of a conformist. I was asking him to throw more punches. That if he lost…that if he got knocked out that he give me a F—— round! That he gift me a f—- round throwing punches! I couldn’t make him understand!”

Read more at: http://www.cbssports.com/boxing/news/julio-cesar-chavez-rips-sons-effort-unwillingness-to-throw-punches-vs-canelo/

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Tells TMZ He Owes All His Success to his Dad

Floyd Mayweather Junior recently told TMZ that he owes his entire boxing empire to his pops!
Mayweather Jr. and Mayweather Sr. have a long history of arguments and periods of estrangement, so much so that Mayweather Sr. even offered to train fighters to defeat his son. However they appear to have a strong and health relationship.

Junior stated he owes “all the thanks to my Dad” and that Senior gave him the single most important piece of advise he ever got about his career, and he never forgot it.

Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/05/10/floyd-mayweather-sr-floyd-mayweather/

Shannon Briggs vs. Fres Oquendo Press Conference Quotes

Heavyweight contenders Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs and Fres Oquendo faced off for the first time today (Tuesday, May 9) before they battle for the WBA Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, June 3 in the main event of Backyard Brawl: Briggs vs. Oquendo taking place at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.

The two-time heavyweight champion Briggs and three-time title challenger Oquendo participated in a highly energetic press conference at Hard Rock Live as both men, along with representatives from their camps, proclaimed victory on June 3. Also in attendance were a trio of former Heavyweight champions who plan on attending fight night including Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Briggs’ trainer Chris Byrd, adding to the anticipation for the Heavyweight title bout.

Tickets are on sale now and are priced at $75, $100, $150, $250 and $500; ringside seats are sold for $1,000; ringside tables with six seats are $5,500 and 10 seats are $11,000 (plus a $5 Facility Maintenance fee applies). All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. *Additional fees may apply.

Here is what the participants had to say:

SHANNON BRIGGS

“This has been a long journey. Five years ago, I was depressed and out of the boxing game, but then my daughter was born. I took a stand. I said that I’m going to do this for her. Everyone doubted me. When I met with Kris Lawrence, he listened to me talk for hours on a Monday and then on Friday he called me and said ‘Let’s Go Champ!’ That was the beginning of the comeback.”

“I lost 145 pounds and I went around the world, meeting people and trying to inspire them, but they were inspiring me too. It’s a huge motivation to me to see these people and get the response from people who say that I was able to inspire them.”

“We’re here now. We got the shot. I look forward to becoming a champion for a third time. I’m fighting a very good fighter in Fres Oquendo. He’s a seasoned guy, but he’s out of his league. This isn’t his time.”

“I’ve heard things that he’s said about me, that it might be an easy fight. But he has no idea how motivated and how focused I am right now. I just can’t wait for the bell to ring so that the people can look up and see me smash him.”

“I’m coming out in the first round and I’m gunning for you. As soon as the bell rings, I’m coming to take your head off. If I don’t get you in the first, I’ll get you in the second. All the way to the 12th. I got Liakhovich at 2:59 of the last round and you might have to go that way too.”

“I’m happy and excited. The time is now. I’m home in Florida where I’ve lived for the last 18 years. I’m training like never before. I might have taken two weeks off in the last four years. I’m looking forward to glory. I want to see the people around the world saying “LETS GO CHAMP!”

FRES OQUENDO

“It’s a pleasure to be here for this historic event. Shannon and I go way back. We’re gentlemen of the sport. We carry ourselves with dignity. We’re going to go after it.”

“We actually shared a twin bill on my HBO debut in 2001. That was a special night for me. I’m thankful to Shannon for stepping up and facing a fighter of my caliber. I’m going to go in there with everything that I have. It’s not going to be easy in there for him.”

“I’m dedicating this fight to my son’s friend Jaxon King, who passed away last year at five years old. I have a non-profit that helps a lot of at risk youth in Chicago because I was one of those kids. They all mean so much to me and I’m going to have Jaxon in my heart that day and give me the extra edge to do what I have to do.”

“I’ve been in there with the best in the sport. This is a very special fight for me. This is life and death for me. I’ve fought everywhere in the world, sometimes I didn’t get the decision, but I’m going to bring it every time.”

“I hope to see everyone out there on fight night. It’s going to be a great night of boxing. I can’t wait to make history on June 3.”

Yafai: Joshua Has Inspired me to Unify the Division

Kal Yafai says Anthony Joshua MBE has set a new benchmark for British fighters to follow as he prepares to make the first defence of his WBA World Super-Flyweight title against Suguru Muranaka at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday LIVE on AWE- A Wealth of Entertainment at 3 PM ET / 12 Noon PT.

For boxing fans who don’t have access to AWE, the fight will be available on the AWE channel on www.klowdtv.com

Yafai and Joshua are close from their days as Team GB teammates, and Yafai won the crown he defends on home turf this weekend on the undercard of Joshua’s win over Eric Molina in Manchester in December.
Yafai was unable to attend Joshua’s epic win over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium last weekend, but the 27 year old was bursting with pride as Joshua KO’d the Ukrainian in the 11th round, and believes that Joshua has raised the bar higher than ever for British fighters.

“I was unbelievably proud and happy for Anthony Joshua,” said Yafai. “When he got put down I was very nervous, I was praying for him to get up and recover and that’s what he did. It showed what a World Champion needs to do when it gets tough in there.

“He has completely smashed it now, onto bigger and better things for him. The world is his oyster. It was such a hard and big fight. I’d like to see him fight Tyson Fury but it doesn’t sound like that’s possible to happen next. If he can get a defence for one of his Titles against a contender then move onto one of the other Heavyweights like Wilder would be great.

“I still see him regularly. We come on the Team GB squad together. He’s a good lad, one of the nicest people in boxing. He loves his boxing so much. He soaks everything up like a sponge. He just still wants to learn, he’ll get better and better as he goes on. I mean he’s still only young! Realistically a novice still. He’s a funny lad and good to be around. I’ve got a lot of time for him. He’s raised the bar now – beating Klitschko at Wembley is just massive, and it’s something that we’ve all got to aspire to.

“Winning the World Title on his undercard was great. It took me four and a half years going from amateur into the pro game and winning a World Title. Doing it on a massive show headlined by AJ was special. We are Eddie Hearn’s only two World Champions who he’s had from their debuts.

“I was very pleased with my performance that night. I had to do what I had to do. I stayed focused on my own game plan, even after he failed to make the weight. I got in there and done the business. I out boxed him for 12 rounds. I made it as easy as possible.”

Yafai’s World title defence is part of a huge night of action in Birmingham, where Sam Eggington challenges Cerefino Rodriguez for the European Welterweight title.

Yafai’s brother Gamal defends his WBC International Super-Bantamweight championship against fellow Birmingham man Sean Davis, Ryan Kelly and Adam Harper meet for the Midlands Area Middleweight Title.
Frankie Gavin is back in action in his first fight with trainer Jon Pegg, and there’s action for Lennox Clarke, unbeaten Olympian Josh Kelly, Kieron Conway, Aaron Lovell, Jordan Clayton, Charlie Williams and Cori Gibbs.

Gervonta Davis and Gary Russell Jr. Anchor Four-Fight, Split Site Boxing Event May 20th on Showtime

America’s youngest world champion, Gervonta Davis, will make his first world title defense in the opening bout and featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr. will make his mandatory world title defense in the main event of a split-site, four-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event on Saturday, May 20, live on SHOWTIME at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT*.

Davis will travel to Britain to defend his IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship against undefeated No. 1-ranked contender and local favorite Liam Walsh from Copper Box Arena in London. Russell will make a long-awaited homecoming—his first professional fight in the region—and his second WBC Featherweight World Championship defense against mandatory challenger Oscar Escandon live from MGM National Harbor just outside of Washington, D.C.

*Editors’ Note: In order to present all four bouts on one program, the Davis vs. Walsh bout may air on a delay basis of up to 30 minutes.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING host Brian Custer will anchor the four-fight telecast from Maryland with coverage of Davis vs. Walsh provided by BT Sport. Veteran sportscaster Mauro Ranallo will handle play-by-play at MGM National Harbor with Hall of Famer Al Bernstein and former two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi serving as analysts. Emmy award winning sports reporter Jim Gray and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Steve Farhood will also serve from ringside. Secondary Audio Programming will be offered in Spanish by Alejandro Luna and former world champ Raúl Marquez.

From London, John Rawling will handle play-by-play for Davis vs. Walsh with former world champion Richie Woodhall providing the color commentary at Copper Box Arena.

“May 20 will be a big night of boxing and it kicks off a run of four consecutive weeks of world class fights on SHOWTIME,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports®. “We have consistently delivered the biggest and most important boxing events from around the globe to SHOWTIME subscribers. This unique presentation—four fights, two world championships and two title eliminators, from different continents, all on one show—is yet another example of our unrivaled commitment to the sport.”

The 22-year-old Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) is the youngest reigning world champion from the United States and the second youngest in the world. The Baltimore native and Floyd Mayweather protégé will travel to hostile territory in his first title defense against Walsh (21-0, 14 KOs) in a matchup of undefeated southpaws.

Russell Jr. (27-1, 16 KOs) will look to make a statement in the loaded featherweight division against mandatory challenger Ecandon (25-2, 17 KOs), who owns a stunning knockout of former world champion Jesus Cuellar. Russell vs. Escandon is the sixth featherweight title bout on SHOWTIME since February 2016.
Two world title eliminators will round out the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING quadrupleheader. Top super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell (25-2, 16 KOs) and José Uzcátegui (26-1, 22 KOs) will face off in an IBF Super Middleweight Eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger for champion James DeGale.
Undefeated Rances Barthelemy (25-0, 13 KOs) will meet Kiryl Relikh (21-1, 19 KOs) in a WBA Super Lightweight Eliminator for unified champ Julius Indongo. Barthelemy, who won titles at 130 and 135, will earn an opportunity to become Cuba’s first three-division champion with a win over the hard-hitting Relikh.

Beltran-Maicelo Title Eliminator Added to Crawford vs. Diaz

Two-time world title challenger RAY “Sugar” BELTRAN and heavy-fisted JONATHAN “The Last Inca” MAICELO will go mano a mano in a high-stakes battle of world-rated lightweight contenders. Sanctioned by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) as a world lightweight title elimination bout, the winner of the 12-round rumble will also lay claim to the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) International and the NABF and NABO lightweight titles, currently held by Beltran. Beltran vs. Maicelo will be the co-main event to the TERENCE “Bud” CRAWFORD – FÉLIX DÍAZ World Junior Welterweight Championship, Saturday, May 20, at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden. Both fights will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT. The world championship event will also feature the Pride of Newark and 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist SHAKUR STEVENSON on the non-televised undercard.
Beltran and Maicelo, who hail from Mexico and Peru, respectively, have a combined record of 57-9-1 (32 KOs), — a winning percentage of 85% with over half their victories coming by way of knockout. Both boast unbeaten streaks dating back to 2015..

“We are ready for this fight. It is a very important fight for the whole team, because it will be the fight that will take us to the opportunity of battling for a world title,” said Beltran. “We are focused on winning. We are coming to fight and give a great show to all the fans. I don’t just want to win. I want to look good and win convincingly. Little by little I am making my dreams come true. I have battled a lot in my career. We have fulfilled many of our goals, like now that we are going to fight at Madison Square Garden. Being able to fight in a historical place, where all the greats have fought, is a dream come true.”

“This is a very important fight for my career. This fight means everything to me because I will be able to display my skills in front of a big audience and on a big stage like Madison Square Garden,” said Maicelo. “Right now I’m at my best and on May 20 everyone will see the best of me. I’m working very hard in the gym because everyone knows that Beltran is a tough fighter, but I’m focused on winning because this is a world title elimination bout that will take me straight to the opportunity of fighting for a world title.”

Beltran (32-7-1, 20 KOs), a native of Ahome, Mexico who resides in Phoenix, AZ., enters this fight having won his last three fights by knockout. A two-time lightweight world title challenger and a former sparring partner of eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, Beltran still trains at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. In his last fight, in the co-main event to the Crawford John Molina Jr. world title fight on December 10, Crawford scored a sensational one-punch seventh-round knockout of once-beaten Mason Menard in an NABF-NABO lightweight title fight. Beltran is currently world-rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), No. 3 by the IBF and No. 4 by the World Boxing Council (WBC).

Maicelo (25-2, 12 KOs), a native of Callao, Peru who fights out of North Bergen, New Jersey, is riding a two-year four-bout winning streak. His most impressive victory was his in his last fight, against Jose Felix, Jr. on February 17. Felix, who entered the fight with a 35-1-1 record and world-rated No. 3 by the WBO, was knocked down five times by Maicelo. Maicelo’s upset unanimous decision victory over Felix has propelled him to No. 7 in the IBF.

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Three Tales from Joe “Shannon” Schabacker!


Three Tales from Joe “Shannon” Schabacker!
By: Ken Hissner

This former Olympic alternate back in the early 20’s had more than half a dozen tales but let’s hear about three of them.

Shannon had a professional trainer named Jack Blackburn. Yes, the trainer of Joe “The Brown Bomber” Louis. Shannon had him first. On a train to Baltimore where Shannon was to fight a “Billy Goat” of a boxer Blackburn pulled out a small bottle and put it under the nose of Shannon. He took one stiff and his vision went blurry. Blackburn wanted to put it under Shannon’s chin so that when the “Billy Goat” came up with his head the liquid from the bottle under Shannon’s chin would run down into his opponent’s eyes and guess what? Shannon won by technical knockout due to his opponent who couldn’t continue at the end of the round.

Shannon fought an opponent named Eddie Fisher. No not the singer. Shannon as an amateur had fought for the Catholic club called Shannahan. He went to get his trophies back after turning professional and the priest in charge refused to give them up. Seems Shannon being a Lutheran may have had something to do with it. The night of his next fight against Fisher Shannon was told the same priest who refused to return the trophies had bet against Shannon.

The fight was at the Cambria in Philadelphia that they called “the blood pit” due to the many wars held there. The boxers would walk down steps to get to the ring. Shannon entered the ring and soon was on the canvas. His wife was at ringside and yelled out “get up you bum you had your nap this afternoon!” Shannon not only got up but would eventually stop Fisher. On the way back up the stairs Shannon noticed the priest sitting there with his head down and went over to him and whispered “thanks for the prayers father.” Shannon would eventually go to Fisher who owned a diner in Jersey and asked Fisher to sign a contract so Shannon who was retiring could train and manage him. Fisher said “if I can’t beat a bum like you I don’t belong in the ring.” That was the last time the two met.

Shannon was a sign painter and that is how he paid for his gym dues at former light heavyweight champion Philadelphia Jack O’Brien’s gym. O’Brien had two rings in his gym. One day a boxer was shadow boxing in one while the other had a mouthy boxer from New England who was beating up each sparring partner put in front of him. He asked O’Brien “is that all you got?” As O’Brien started to take off his suit jacket Shannon volunteered to get into the ring with the bully. Shannon was a lightweight and entered the ring against a middleweight. The latter could not catch Shannon who was doing his “road work” circling the bigger man in the ring before exiting.

The boxer in the other ring asked the bully “do you need some work?” The response from the bully who was scheduled to fight several days later was “yeah, I need some work.” The “other boxer” came into the ring with the bully and proceeded to rip him apart to the point he cut his ear (no head gear) and put him out of the scheduled fight. As he left the ring Shannon followed him to the dressing room and said “thanks a lot buddy for sticking up for me.” The response from the other boxer was “I didn’t do it for you kid. A guy like that doesn’t belong in the ring. By the way (held his hand out) my name is Harry Greb.” Yes the former two-division world champion known as the Pittsburgh Windmill and who was the only boxer to defeat heavyweight champion Gene Tunney was that “other boxer!”

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What’s Next for Shannon Briggs?


What’s Next for Shannon Briggs?
By: Iftisaam Khan

Having suffered a number of setbacks in his career of late, Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Briggs will be certainly looking to put that all behind him as he aims to return to the ring next year. Reflecting on a year of bad luck, the American will be rather disappointed at his inactivity in the ring as he was overlooked on numerous occasions due to a number of reasons.

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Looking for an opponent initially saw the 45-year-old focus his efforts on securing a bout with Heavyweight rival, David Haye which eventually came to no avail. Chasing the fight saw ‘The Cannon’ go around the country gate-crashing press conferences and media events to call out the Londoner but his efforts eventually turned futile. At times the prospect of thefight being made actually looked promising with Briggs featuring on the undercard of Haye’s fight, but it turned out that was the closest the American was going to get to Haye as he overlooked the American and weeks later announced his next fight against Tony Bellew in 2017.

If his luck couldn’t get any worse, his hopes of attaining a heavyweight title this year weredashed after his opposed fight with Australian, Lucas Browne was cancelled after his opponent was found to have had taken banned substance, Ostarine leaving the former world champion looking at the coming year for a change of luck.With the Heavyweight scene currently thriving there won’t be a shortage of options.

Dilian Whyte

One potential opponent in the new year could be the ‘Body Snatcher’ who will be looking to take as much time off from the ring as possible given his superb performance against Derick Chisora in a fight being touted as fight of the year. The possibilities of seeing Briggs and Whyte share the ring next year are unlikely with Eddie Hearn hoping for a rematch instead between Whyte and Chisorainstead.

Luis Ortiz

A more realistic possibility could see the ‘Cannon’ take on fellow compatriot and friend, Luis Ortiz who recently overcame a brave Dave Allen in Manchester; stopping him in the 7th round. A fight between the pair would make sense for both parties but time will tell.

Dave Allen

A fighter who’s known for his willingness to share the ring with anybody, the ‘White Rhino’would be a great option as a step up of opposition for Briggs who will be looking to ease his way back in the heavyweight scene.

David Price

Looking to resurrect his career is Liverpudlian, David Price. The fighter will be looking to make everyone forget about his 3 defeats to Tony Thompson and ErkanTepen which came as a big shock to the boxing world as at the time Price was touted for special things in the division. Time is on his side to establish his career again but another slip up cannot be afforded.

A logical fight for both parties, Briggs would provide a stern test for the scouser who is aiming for a shot at World Champion, Anthony Joshuain the near future.

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