BASN Boxing Notebook: Shannon’s Shot

By Francis Walker, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: October 10, 2010

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NEW YORK (BASN) — Former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs (51-5-1, 45 KOs) plans to relieve Vitali Klitschko (40-2, 38 KOs) of his WBC heavyweight crown.

The two will meet on Saturday night at the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany.

The bout, promoted by K2 Promotions, will mark the fifth defense of Klitschko’s second reign as WBC champion. Klitschko, since ending a 3½-year retirement two years ago, reclaimed the belt from Samuel Peter (TKO 8) and looked sensational in title defenses against Juan Carlos Gomez (TKO 9), Chris Arreola (TKO 10), Kevin Johnson (W 12), and Albert Sosnowski (TKO 10).

In Briggs, Klitschko will be fighting a more dangerous, stronger puncher that he has faced since his return. The 38-year-old from Brownsville, New York is destined to overtake the heavyweight throne.

“When I finally get Vitali in that ring, he’s going to be up against a determined Shannon Briggs,” the American-born fighter stated. “I’m his size. I’m even more powerful than he is.”

“He can’t keep me away by holding out his left arm and trying to wrap me up like those Klitschkos usually do.

Vitali’s next fight will be nothing like Wladimir’s last fight. He is going to be fighting for his life from the opening bell.”

Briggs, at 6-feet-4, 260 pounds, is indeed a powerful fighter.

He has a career 30 first-round knockouts dating back to his pro debut in July 1992. Briggs has a wealth of experience. He holds a 12-round decision win against George Foreman nearly 13 years ago before challenging Lennox Lewis for the WBC heavyweight title.

Perhaps the biggest win of his career was when Briggs, trailing on the judges scorecards, knocked out Sergui Liakhovich with 10 seconds remaining in the final round to claim the WBO heavyweight title in November 2006.

Briggs lost the WBO title in his first title defense to Sultan Ibragimov in June 2007.

Following the Ibragimov defeat, Briggs spent two years away from boxing and since his return less than one year ago, all four of his bouts ended in the first round (3-0, 1 no-contest).

Briggs, a lifelong asthma sufferer, is looking to attack Klitschko in the ring for comments he made recently. In an article written by Lem Satterfield, Klitschko was quoted: “In addition to Briggs, I know many boxers who – in spite of asthma – became world champions.”

“This is not a deadly disease. Look at his fights, and you will understand that asthma – it’s just a good excuse.” Briggs took Klitschko’s comments very personal.

“I have been in the trenches of this deadly disease and seen the heartbreak it causes,” Briggs added. “I spend every day trying to convince young people stricken with it that they can be anything they want in life, despite their challenges.”

“What the world doesn’t need is someone who’s supposed to be a role model dismissing their condition as no big deal. These kids are not faking and neither am I.”

Briggs continued: “I am now personally dedicating my knockout punch to the sufferers of asthma worldwide that Vitali has offended. I plan on being a three-time world champion who respects people and their challenges.”

Klitschko vs. Briggs can be seen live on the U.S. on ESPN3 beginning at 5 pm ET.

W. Klitschko vs.

Chisora in December?

It looks more and more likely that unified IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will fight once more in 2010.

Fresh off his ninth round knockout of his September 2005 rematch with Samuel Peter last month, Klitschko (55-3, 49 KOs) plans to make his tenth title defense on Saturday, December 11, against unbeaten British heavyweight titlist Dereck Chisora (14-0,9 KOs).

Who the hell is Derek Chisora? Well, there is only one word to describe Chisora and that is unimpressive. Chisora is a slow heavyweight with limited skills. He’s not a sharp puncher, but he is heavy-handed.

Chisora has been matched with club fighter-type guys that are out of shape and simply run out of gas after one or two rounds. At least Chisora is in better shape than the opponents he fights, and that isn’t saying much.

However, Chisora is a big deal in England because, he is the British heavyweight champion. He won that crown off a second round knockout of Danny Williams in May.

Williams is the man that beat former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in July 2004, but was demolished by Vitali Klitschko for the WBC title five months thereafter.

There are many differences between Chisora and Wladimr Klitschko. Firstly, the 26 year-old Chisora has never fought anyone with the hand speed, power, and timing of a 6-foot-7, 200-pound Klitschko.

Klitschko’s underrated foot-speed is going to allow him to apply relentless presser and Chisora isn’t going to be able to keep Wladimir away. Chisora will find is very difficult to stand-up to Wladimir because, Klitschko, at this point of his career, isn’t going to tire.

Chisora will prove to be a stationary target for the champion. If this fight is signed, spells mismatch written all over it. Give credit to where credit is due though.

At least Klitschko is trying to stay active during an era when fighters aren’t active. Chisora will not pass the opportunity to fight for the world heavyweight championship. Even if after 14 professional bouts he’s not ready for such a huge spot.

Tarver to test heavyweight waters

Just when you’d thought the “The Magic Show” was over, guess again.

At age 41, “The Magic Man” returns to boxing in emphatic fashion when Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (27-6, 19 KOs), a former unified WBC/IBF light-heavyweight champion, debuts in the heavyweight division against a Nagy Aguilera (16-4, 11 KOs) on Saturday night at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma.

SHOWTIME will be televise the bout live on it’s critically acclaimed “ShoBox: The New Generation” series beginning at 11 pm ET. “I feel like I’ve outgrown the light-heavyweight division,” Tarver said.

“My work has been done. I’m looking at the landscape of the game and I’m primed to make a big move in the sport of boxing.”

Tarver’s move to the heavyweight division only confirms that the heavyweight division has been weak for years. Aside from the Klitschkos are there any true heavyweights on the horizon in the division?

In recent years, Roy Jones, Jr. vacated his undisputed world light-heavyweight championships to become the first boxer in over 100 years to win a heavyweight championship.

Undersized David Haye, a former unified WBC/WBA and WBO cruiserweight champion, defeated a 7-foot-3, 325-pound Nikolai Valuev to become heavyweight champion.

James Toney would have won the WBA heavyweight title had he not failed a post-fight drug test following a decision win against John Ruiz five years ago. In the last year, former WBC light-heavyweight champion Tomasz Adamek has made a strong push toward a heavyweight title fight.

Adamek has beaten U.S. Olympian Jason Estrada, former heavyweight title challengers Andrew Golota, Chris Arreola, and Michael Grant in successive fights.

Tarver is 6-feet-2 and plans to fight around 215 pounds.

Tarver has excellent timing and a great straight-left. He always had good speed, technical skills, and has a good resume.

Tarver, a bronze medalist at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, turned professional at 28, an age when a boxer is considered to be entering his prime. Tarver didn’t win his first world title until April 26, 2003 at age 34. Tarver demolished Montell Griffin through 12 rounds to win the unified WBC/IBF 175-pound titles.

Tarver has accomplished a lot. Tarver has fought Roy Jones, Jr. three times, winning twice, including a shocking second-round KO in May 2004. Tarver also fought world champions Glen Johnson (twice), Chad Dawson (twice), Reggie Johnson, Clinton Woods, and Bernard Hopkins.

Tarver once suffered a broke jaw, but has never been stopped.