Shannon Briggs: On The Move Once Again

By Francis Walker
Updated: August 19, 2007

NEW YORK — Shannon Briggs has decided to resume his boxing career. The 35-year-old from Brooklyn is the first asthmatic to have won a world heavyweight championship. Briggs plans to continue his pursuit of IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.

“I’ve been calling out Klitschko for years and got no love,” Briggs said. “Give me the opportunity to fight at full strength, and we’ll see what happens. If Klitschko is so great, he should have no problem taking a fight with me.”

“Nobody can beat a healthy Shannon Briggs,” he added. “Pneumonia prevented me from performing up to my ability. I just want a chance to show the world that I’m worthy. I want Klitschko in the Garden.”

Briggs had agreed to fight Klitschko since last year June, but had never received a contract from Klitschko’s advisor Shelly Finkel. Briggs, who reeled off 10 consecutive knockout victories including a TKO of Sergui Liakhovich to win the WBO heavyweight championship at 2:59 into the final round, believed that Klitschko was timid and didn’t want to face another hard puncher.

The WBO title put Briggs in a position to face Klitschko’s in a much-needed heavyweight championship unification bout. Both fighters needed to surpass challenges from their mandatory challengers. While Klitschko knocked out Ray Austin in March, Briggs was recovering from phenomena and his bout with top-ranked Sultan Ibragimov was postponed.

When Briggs did fight Ibragimov in June, apparently Briggs still wasn’t 100%. Briggs was clearly in pain when he threw a punch and couldn’t chase down an illusive Ibragimov, who won the WBO title on a 12-round unanimous decision and is now penciled in to face Evander Holyfield on Oct. 13th in Moscow, Russia.

“No matter what his people are trying say, I was not 100% going into that fight,” Briggs said.” Briggs also added that he was on antibiotics and that he couldn’t train for several weeks leading up to Ibragimov.

Although the loss to Ibragimov ended Briggs’ 10-fight knockout streak, it’s apparent that Briggs may have to start over once again. Briggs isn’t ranked in the top 10 in any of the major sanctioning bodies and may have to wait for a title shot.

The WBO has a mandatory challenger in Tony Thompson. Thompson knocked out Luan Krasniqi in the ninth-round and will await the winner of Ibragimov-Holyfield

The IBF recently announced an elimination box-off involving Chris Byrd, Eddie Chambers, Alexander Povkin, and Calvin Brock. The winner will become the mandatory challenger for Klitschko’s title next year.

Oleg Maskaev’s long-awaited and overdue WBC heavyweight title defense against Sam Peter was announced this week and will occur on October 6 at Madison Square Garden. The winner will next fight WBC “Champion Emeritus” Vitali Klitschko, who will end his retirement against Jameel McCline in September.

Briggs Pushing Successful Acting Career

Briggs is a movie fanatic. He has an extensive DVD collection of thousands of movies and has dreamt of owning his own Blockbuster. Briggs has appeared in Transporter II and Bad Boys II has just finished shooting another movie entitled “Whackness” with Ben Kingsley.

“I love acting in movies,” Briggs said. “I believe I was born for the big screen. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a movie fanatic. So to me, it’s a dream come true to be in the movie industry.”

Briggs’ Intriguing Journey Continues

Briggs’ success both inside the boxing ring and on the sliver screen is a tremendous story. In fact, Briggs is a walking miracle. Briggs was born with asthma, never knew his dad, his step father died in prison, and his mother was a heroin addict. Briggs was teased as a child while growing up on welfare. He missed school because of his sickness and would eventually become a homeless wonder.

Briggs turned to boxing as a teenager. Boxing shaped his life from a troubled youngster to a successful man with a wife and two children. Regardless of the negative treatment he’s received throughout his career from the press, the grueling training camps, the exhaustive battles of making weight, and his battle with asthma, Briggs has a close and personal commitment to boxing.

It is through boxing that Briggs, using his own two hands and natural physical ability, fought his way through poverty into a life only he had envisioned for himself. He continues to write his own history and continues to make every step very intriguing.