Briggs Earns Heavyweight Title Fight, But Not Against Wladimir

By Francis Walker
Updated: September 6, 2006

NEW YORK — Shannon Briggs will finally earn a world heavyweight title shot in November. However, Briggs will not be fighting IBF heavyweight champion, Wladimr Klitschko as reported.

Apparently, Klitschko has backed out of a dangerous fight with Briggs, who has knocked out his last 11 opponents. Klitschko won the IBF heavyweight title in April with a knockout against an opponent whom he defeated before, Chris Byrd.

Klitschko, who has been knocked out three times in his career, didn’t want to fight a knockout artist like Briggs.

Briggs (47-4-1, 41 KOs) instead will challenge WBO heavyweight champ, Serguei Lyakhovich (23-1, 14 KOs) in November.

Lyakhovich won the WBO title when he beat Lamon Brewster in April 2006. The victory was considered an upset since Brewster was Lyakhovich’s only opponent in the last 21 months (and counting).

Lyakhovich gets credit for challenging perhaps the most dangerous puncher in the heavyweight division today.

Briggs has a respectable career. He’s a big, 6’ 4,” 270 pound fighter with knockout power in either hand. Briggs has accumulated 27 of his 41 career knockouts in the first round.

He is known in the boxing community, but is still looking for a career defining victory.

Briggs’ biggest victory on record was his unanimous 12-round decision over George Foreman in November 1997. Many viewed the decision as being political and controversial which led to an investigation of the New Jersey State Athletic Commission’s selection of ringside judges. Many thought Foreman won.

Briggs came close to knocking out Lennox Lewis in the first round for the WBC heavyweight title in March 1998. But Lewis stopped Briggs in the fifth round to retain the belt.

Following a decision loss to Jameel McCline in April 2002, Briggs has not lost since. Briggs has knocked out his last 11 opponents, 5 in the first round.

Briggs also knocked out Ray Mercer, who in his prime, was recognized for having a granite chin. Mercer nearly beat Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis when they fought in the 1990s and was turned down by both men when Mercer called them out for a rematch.

Mercer was also ducked by Don King and Mike Tyson for years.

Briggs’ 11-fight knockout run includes two undefeated fighters, and not one fighter has a winning percentage at or below .500 (50%). Briggs hasn’t KO’d 11 opponents in a row since he began his professional career in July 1992, more than 14 years ago.