Tag Archives: shannon briggs

Wladimir Klitschko vs Kubrat Pulev, Part II

The first Kubrat Pulev fight was abruptly rescheduled after Wladimir Klitschko tore a bicep in training, or so the official story goes, November 15th at the O2 World Arena in Hamberg, Germany. I sense more than a biceps injury may have been in play. Hard to get a grip on what is going on with Wlad’s career now that he has a sociopathic clown Shannon Briggs stalking his every move in anticipation of increasingly dangerous physical confrontations, the last one using a speedboat to capsize Klitschko off the coast of Florida.

I have to think that building pressure interfering with his concentration played a part in the injury, but who can really know save the team itself? Klitschko is 38 years of age, traditionally quite ancient by previous heavyweight generations, especially after a very active Olympic career and 65 professional fights in 329 rounds of action. Add thousands of rounds of sparring, that’s a lot of wear, yet until now he’s been relatively injury free.

Nary a peep from Pulev about the delay. He’s likely sharpening his knives thinking the scenario favors him against an ailing Klitschko. You can read about the previous fight breakdown here which would remain the same, unless…

…We’ll just have to see how healthy Wladimir is. Pulev would be a handful for a healthy Wlad, but a nightmare for an ailing Wlad.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/future-destiny-in-waitingwladimir-klitschko-vs-kubrat-pulev/

Shannon Briggs Losing The Plot~Time For Restraining Order & Criminal Charges?

Shannon Briggs continues to push the boundaries of criminal intent with his latest harassment of heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. I’m surprised a restraining order wasn’t taken out in his last big video where he stormed a local diner Klitschko was eating at to scream, steal his plate of food to help himself and then overturned the table and chairs, cutting himself and apparently Wlad in the process.

This last episode is grievous by intent when he directs a speedboat to turn circles around a waterboard paddling Wlad in the canal waters off the Florida southeastern coast. The incident capsized Wlad wh0 then had to swim to retrieve his board. Had he struck his head on the board or any debris or the speedboat or otherwise been rendered helpless, he might have drowned. There are strict maritime laws that apply to the willful use of a motorized craft to capsize another watercraft. There are a huge number of major and minor lawsuits with criminal charges just for the unintended negligence in causing the capsizing of another watercraft.

Some will say the incidents have been staged by Briggs and Klitschko, a sordid possibility that can’t be ignored absent all the details, but even so, what is being done goes against common sense and is against the law in the public place. Wlad is already coming off an injury that reshuffled his last defense to November. I have to think the constant strain of having to be calm, cool, and collected as Briggs stalks him like a mad man on the loose kept him overly tight which led to his torn bicep.

In a monkey see, monkey do world, we don’t need to see any more of these kind of behaviors. It’s time for Klitschko to completely pull the plug on Briggs for the safety of both. Briggs has always been a bit of a wild card in a funny sort of way, but he may be suffering the dementia effects from his unholy beating at the hands of Wlad’s brother, Vitali Klitschko, a few years back. He won hearts and minds and plenty of plaudits for staying in for the full beating against the advice of common sense and personal health, but all that has been squandered now.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/the-huge-heart-of-shannon-briggs/

Gentlemen, ENOUGH. I’d hate to see someone hurt more than the previous minor cuts that could have been much worse and certainly don’t wish the penitentiary for Briggs when he needs obvious help to save him from himself before it’s too late. 

 

Future Destiny In Waiting~Wladimir Klitschko vs Kubrat Pulev

***Fight postponed due to Wladimir injury reported alternately as a hamstring pull or left bicep tear. Sad but true perhaps this warning shot across the bow of the aging Klitschko juggernaut as he dragged Shannon Briggs across the landscape that left him shaking his right hand. Not much else in the story, but link here for confirmation:

http://www.espn.co.uk/boxing/sport/story/336929.html

Wladimir Klitschko is back in action to defend his myriad collection of world title belts against IBF mandatory Kubrat Pulev at O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday, September 6th. He is coming off a successful defense against his WBO mandatory Alex Leapai who was well tenderized before being knocked out in the 6th round, but there’s much more at stake than just this upcoming title defense.

The Combatants

The Combatants

Klitschko is currently 23-2, 17 KOs in title fights coming into his his 26th title fight. Only the immortal Joe Louis was in more heavyweight title fights, sporting a 26-1 record with the 26 all consecutive wins, one record heavyweights will likely never break. A win against Pulev puts Wladimir within two title fights of tying Joe’s 26 title wins record and breaking his 27 total title fights record.

Records are fascinating reflections of the eras in which they occur and most will eventually be broken as the rules and culture changes, but boxing has a history of pulling the plug on modern fighters approaching Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 heavyweight record. The Joe Louis records may be even more revered as we may discover once Wlad tries to cross that threshold. This is the first recorded instance of a modern heavyweight champion also simultaneously approaching the Joe Louis final record of 66-3, 52 KO, dead square within his sights with Wlad currently at 62-3, 52 KO and still on top of his game. There will be much moaning and wringing of limp hands about this heavy division being soft by the grandsons of the same moaning critics of previous eras who were never satisfied with the greats who do pass through their eras, always preferring the good old days of their misguided besotted youth when the biggest impressions are made on the soft clay of their memory.

The perfect modern era example of that misanthropic thinking is the stellar record of two division champ Dariusz Michalczweski who was the long time “lineal” lightheavyweight champ according to the varied arcane claims kept by persnickety purist “boxing experts” as he waged one of the best title runs in history. He approached the Rocky Marciano career mark of 49-0 as he also made a bid to tie the Joe Louis record of 26 consecutive title wins. During his span of 9 years the aptly monikered “Tiger” defended his WBO lightheavy title while adding the WBO cruiserweight title that he never defended and the IBF, WBA, and “lineal” titles when he beat HOFer Virgil Hill.

The Fates could not have arranged for a more eventful challenge to boxing history, but being such fastidiously fickle sisters, they upped their ante on this poor Polish boy by booting him into Germany where he became a huge star with the expected accumulating hubris as he played out his preordained destiny before adoring fans.

They also made sure that Michalczweski was to be infamously and quite immediately stripped of his hard won WBA and IBF baubles that Roy Jones Jr then moved up to claim to much more acclaim that in turn secured his own lock as a first ballot International Boxing Hall of Famer that Dariusz currently remains locked out of. Roy fought many of the same fighters Dariusz fought, often after Dariusz had already taken care of business in advance. As Dariusz approached those legendary boxing milestones, he and his team obviously developed a sense of history and wanted affirmation from American media that historically define prevailing boxing media content. They flew to America for an HBO televised Jones title match where he publicly lobbies for a Jones unification fight to no avail. Jones and his HBO paymasters blithely snubbed what would have been the biggest money purse in Roy’s career. You could ask them why, but I doubt there will be any truth forthcoming. You see, all that big money was only if the fight were held in Germany with a German broadcaster that HBO either could not or would not match in a home setting for Roy. Nor would Roy travel abroad for a big fight much like the the current crop of acclaimed undefeated American P4Pers whose names are already forgotten in the span of time.

Instead Roy settled for the much touted Don King canned WBA heavyweight challenge against John Ruiz with King contractually keeping that title “in house” for well over a decade before his own inevitable decline finally saw him lose his grip. So King held the WBA heavy option on Roy for one year to no avail when Roy simply refused to defend, instead holding a King’s Court as suitors supplicated themselves before him with a dozen heavyweight and cruiserweight big fight offers before vacating the heavyweight title which, cough, cough, immediately reverted back to the justly maligned John Ruiz.  Roy did finally return and beat Antonio Tarver to an unexpected savaging by critics who finally saw their estimation of his otherworldly talents and career dashed on the rocks of their own misguided expectations of Roy cleaning out the heavyweight division.

‘T’ain’t ever easy being the best ever in the best of times when the times savagely turn on you.

The discouraged Dariusz instead held his historic bout against the light swatting Julio Gonzalez whom Roy had previously beaten in 12 lackluster rounds. Gonzalez was the best Dariusz could find under the circumstances, yet a poor substitute that showed in his own lackluster performance where he looked to be sleep walking underwater for the first half of the fight as the gentle pitty-pattering rain of Gonzalez racked up the points. Then the switch gets turns on as Dariusz finds his timing and desire to chase and pound on Gonzalez down the stretch. I thought Dariusz showed the heart of a champ under adverse conditions to win those rounds, but instead the judges denied him that fight and his place in history with a razor thin split decision loss.

Dariusz record here: Dariusz Michalczewski

The modestly equipped Gonzalez could do nothing with the belt but to promptly drop it to talented undefeated Hungarian Zsolt Erdei who had his own problems making big fights with Americans. So the great Roy Jones thus became something of arcane anomaly after all his storied dozens of title fights in never having once held the “Lineal” belt holder in any of the four divisions he held the belt.

So the extensive history of the above/\ is the backdrop setting in this upcoming international fistic play as we get back to the robust upcoming challenge ahead to Wlad’s own considerable legacy.

The 33 year old Bulgarian Pulev is a rugged 6-5, 250 lbs who doesn’t give away any size or strength worth noting. He has recently beat 3 “giant” heavyweights in a row, knocking out top 20 contenders Alexander Dimitrenko and Alexander Ustinov and then beating top 10 Tony Thompson by decision. Though his record pales compared to Wlad, only 20-0, 11 KO, he seems like the type of fighter who fights up or down to the importance of the fight and this his biggest fight ever.

The Klitschko brothers’ K2 Promotions won the IBF mandatory purse bid over Pulev promoter Saureland promotions which was the only way this fight could have been made since both are big German promotional rivals who seldom work with each other unless circumstances force them.

Sound familiar?

Pulev has managed to go a bit further in the prefight than previous Wlad opponents, claiming he, Pulev, is drug tested 6x per year and demanding Wlad take his same tests. Wlad only undergoes post fight drug testing under the auspices of the German Boxing Federation, approximately 2-3x per year dependent on his fight schedule, so no Olympic drug testing controversy this one. The recent Felix Sturm/Sam Soliman bombardment of vicious charges and counter charges over the legality of a nominal compound used in vitamins and supplements highlights the shameless incompetence of cartels and commissions who crudely rule over this untidy sport. If the illicit cartels and commishes ever establish themselves to be as well tested and competently trained as the fighters that they attempt to pass judgement on, then some day the public might take these clowns seriously. Yeah, fat chance that, but such is the way life is everywhere, so we the people of the world adjust to modern prefight and prework drug testing posturing the best we can.

The Cannon Iced!

The Cannon Iced!

And speaking of going further than normal in prefight posturing, a special mention must be made for the grotesquely abnormal pre-prefight posturing of Shannon Briggs in a frothing, rabid state of hysteria during the weeks to the lead up to this fight. He had been stalking Klitschko in his Florida training regimen with what looked like staged video setups, the first of which showed him taking off a shoe to throw at Wlad who was having his hands taped. OK, just some harmless goofy stuff that gets the usual suspects all riled up, but five weeks away from the Pulev fight Briggs stormed a restaurant Klitscko was dining at, screaming hysterically before grabbing his plate to wolf down Wlad’s meal. Wlad blithely joked around before pouring ice water over his bald noggin which flashed Briggs to sweep the table clear in a shattering violent explosion before a bodyguard wrapped him up to cart off outside where Briggs fled to the local hospital with cut hands and feet. Wlad may have cut or broken his right hand as well as he was looking at the palm and shaking something off.

So, Wlad has to effectively negotiate through Shannon “The Loose Cannon” Briggs first who may well be stalking him in his return to Germany as he has done in the past before Wlad can fight Pulev. We shall see soon enough if these were publicity set ups if and when Wlad schedules the desperate Briggs for his next fight. Video here:

At the very least the best heavyweight champion of this era will meet yet another of his main rivals, something that seldom happens in the US at the lesser weights they represent these days.

It should be noted that Wladimir’s brother Vitali was recently elected mayor of Kiev in Ukraine which is currently engaged in a tragically escalating border war against Russia. Hard to say how those political and war distractions add up, but Wlad should be the betting favorite by a good margin over Pulev who looks like he’s durable enough to be dangerous over all 12 rounds.

The usual anti social media monkeys male bonded in a fury of vitriol over Klitschko’s excessive holding against Russian Alexander Povetkin last year and then piled on over the quality of Alex Leapai as a fighter. Wlad looked like a proctologist grown weary of his profession as he gazed down upon Povetkin in a reflective pause before donning the rubber gloves for the perfunctory examination, but look a little closer and you can almost see a return to the original London Prize Ring Rules with 3 hard knockdowns and otherwise manhandling the surprisingly game Povetkin to toss him about the ring old school style into the ropes and onto the canvas like a rag doll. This Pulev fellow looks too strong and densely built for that, but at the end of the day, Wlad has been executing his various mandatory defenses by the textbook, meaning Pulev is likely well pulped by the end of their session however the means.

Is Pulev made of greater stuff than just another lumped up, lopsided heavybag twisting on the chains for Wladimir? Been much bigger upsets than this one which could be interesting on many fronts. Just you watch and wait and see history in the making…

The Essentials

The Essentials

The HUGE Heart of Shannon Briggs

Now that Vitali Klitschko has vanquished the Shannon Briggs challenge to his WBC title, the aftermath of the fight has found Briggs reportedly in “critical” condition in a German hospital, suffering from the effects of a brain concussion and all the uncertainties that entails as well as fractured orbital sockets around both eyes and a torn bicep.

Between Rounds

Between Rounds

Modern boxing protocol sees fighters often placed under observation at hospitals as a precaution, so Briggs will be evaluated and treated, hopefully followed by a favorable release in the coming days.

Meanwhile, unceasing critics are out in force, harping about the fight needing to be stopped well before the end of the 12th round and criticizing Vitali for lacking one punch power and killer instinct to put Briggs down, all in support of the base criticism that nobody can remember a worse set of champions in a worse era than the Klitschko brothers.

Poor Briggs has doubtless never taken a worse beating at the hand of his critics before the fight and not much has changed after the fight in spite proving his critics wrong about him having no heart or stamina.

OK, it comes with the territory of being a brash personality living life in public according to your own terms instead of kowtowing to others.

Personally, I have never been a fan of Briggs, nor a critic except as it pertains to boxing. He is what he is, one of the most colorful characters of all the champs and contenders of the past two decades. He’s an essential part of the landscape who came to public attention when he got overrated on the heels of a dubious decision over Big George Foreman, and his literal last ditch, last second 12th round knockout of Siarhei Liakhovich for his 2nd title.

Those wins plus Briggs’ formidable physique, size, and first round KO record left him overrated apparently, since the ref, Ian John Lewis who was charged with the biggest assignment of his life, he has been accused of not stopping a one sided beatdown.

Had Mr. Lewis stopped the fight, the same critics would be all over him for not allowing Shannon a last second, last ditch Hail Mary shot that would lift him to glorious victory.

I personally thought the fight could’ve been stopped at several opportune moments in the latter half of the fight, particularly from the 10th round on, yet Briggs continued to land the odd big shot, in effect keeping himself in the fight with nothing left.

Now that we are starting understand the full extent of the punishment he took, it surely must be time to take a look at the most brutally efficient style in the history of the heavyweights that the Klitschkos tend to wage as supersized heavies administering slow, head-hunting type of methodical beatdowns. I cannot think of many fighters who could take that amount of punishment, much less at the near 39 yr  age of Briggs.

The critics are always gonna be harping, and refs are always going to make human mistakes of judgement, but it might be time to enact “The Klitschko Clause” into their title fights.

The Klitschko Clause would read that any time after 8 rounds, if the opponent has made no inroads on mounting an offensive threat, is taking a one sided beating, yet is still standing and sent out for every round by their corner, the ref should be compelled to stop the fight.

Of course, refs can stop a fight at any time, and truth be told, I’ve seen a hundred and more fights stopped with the opponent taking a tenth of the damage Briggs absorbed last night. I’m certainly no fan of premature stoppages.

More than a century’s worth of boxing lore has left us with cherished, come from behind, heroic last round KOs like Mike Weaver’s 15th round knockout of Big John Tate that made the career of Weaver and broke the career of Tate. With what we know about brain concussions these days, the risks in these cases are simply not worth it for the odd exception.

The Klitschkos have won their professional honors and respect.

The ref and ring doc already have much discretion in stoppage decisions, but don’t always excercise due judgment, stopping fights too early or too late. Given the incredible beatings the Klitschko brothers have handed out the past few years on Peter, Chambers, Chagaev, Briggs, and Arreola as examples of  precious little resistance other than chins too reliable for their own health, it may be time to force a stoppage by writing the terms into the contract.

The End

The End

But here’s to the health and wellbeing of Shannon Briggs in the here and now.

He deserves a full recovery and perhaps a few retirement fights as a gatekeeper before he hangs them up.

And, please, get a new corner. Your corner failed you miserably.

Briggs could still knock out most of the fighters ranked over him, but regardless, he’s earned my highest respect for his absolute defiance in the face of irresistible destruction, stupefying critics be damned.

Tribute video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oylTb2tlV2k

Well Done, Sir!

The Heavyweight Dilemma, Vitali Klitschko vs Shannon Briggs

The longtime hue and cry over the current state of the heavyweight division has only intensified these past few months as top contenders, David Haye, Alexander Povetkin, and Thomsz Adamek have refused to fight Vitali Klitschko or his brother Wladimir.

Shannon the Cannon

Shannon the Cannon

Instead, Vitali will defend his WBC belt against a very hungry and now very lean and mean Shannon The Cannon Briggs. Briggs has managed to maneuver into a #9 WBC ranking, but is otherwise not highly ranked by the various orgs and websites. Basically, the complaint is that he has done nothing to warrant a title shot, the same complaint leveled at Vitali’s last opponent, Albert Sosnowski.

Read my previous musings on those claims here, inserting the formidably muscled up Briggs for the muscled up Sosnowski.

https://roberto00.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/the-battle-of-the-weakest-links/

Typically,  overemoting critics fail to understand the dynamics of leveraging a big heavyweight promotion, nor do they have any sense of the rankings or depth of the heavyweight division, preferring the easier job of bigging up the one or two names of their favored fighters as if that was all that was needed to make a prizefight, much less a title fight, the mere suggestion of personal desire.

Here are some recent Boxrec rankings as of September 5th while Vitali, Wlad, and David Haye were all putting together their fights. Keep in mind that Boxrec is the largest of the few ranking orgs that rank more than 10 or 15 fighters in a division.

The (notes) are mine of course:

1. Wlad

2. Vitali

3. Haye (already backed out of one signed and sealed contract and refused recent 50/50 offer by the Klitschkos, signing to defend against Audley Harrison in spite of repeated denials that he was even in negotiations)
4. Adamek (pending to allow cuts to heal, but apparently fighting Maddalone in Dec)
5. Chagaev (beat badly by Wlad and currently Haye’s mandatory)
6. Povetkin (refused to sign negotiated agreement to challenge in Wlad’s last defense, thus losing his 2 yr long mandatory ranking, not to mention his trainer, Teddy Atlas, says Povetkin is not yet ready to challenge for the title.)
7. Valuev (interesting deal was almost put together against Vitali, but out into next year with left shoulder/wrist surgery)
8. Peter (beat badly by Wlad 2x/Vitali 1x)
9. Thompson (beat badly by Wlad with no following)
10. Chambers (beat badly by Wlad and still rebuilding)
11. Arreola (beat badly by Vitali and still rebuilding)
12. Dimitrenko (new EBU champ, but turned down Klitschko offers, maybe building into a much bigger promotion in the next year of two)
13. Gomez (beat badly by Vitali and a last ditch opponent for now)
14. Sexton (busy being knocked out by Chisora)
15. Boytsov (maybe in the future, but only 24 and shaking off the rust after coming back from hand surgery, now is not his time, maybe a year or two in a bigger promotion)
16. Austin (beat badly by Wlad with no following)
17. Helenius (very promising prospect recently breaking into fringe contender. Maybe a year or two away in a much bigger promotion)
18. Solis (chubby growing into a blimp with promoter problems looking like he’s moving to challenge for the WBA cheese belt, not the Klitschkos)
19. Pianeta (who dat?)
20. T Ibragimov (The lesser talented of the Russian Iggys, his cousin already lost a shutout against Wlad)
21. Sosnowski (beat badly by Vitali and rebuilding against Dimitrenko)
22. Ustinov (undefeated Russian Bigfoot monster promoted by Ks and wants a Kbro. I’m guessing Vitali’s retirement fight if he makes it past Briggs and can’t sign Haye or Valuev)
23. Holyfield (Oh, brother, where art thou buried? Jeez…..)
24. Platov (who? See Pianeta!)
25. Johnson (beat worse than badly by Vitali……..please, watching Vitali try to stuff a giant squash into a blender would be better stuffing for a Saturday night turkey……..nevermore…….nevermore…….)

So, thusly informed, now say HELLO to one Shannon The Cannon Briggs, lifelong asthmaholic, part time wastrel, yet all while breaking the all time first round KO record first officially recorded by Jack Dempsey in his all time tear through the heavy division. Briggs has 31 first round KOs, unofficially 32 but for failing a post fight drug test, probably a positive test result for ganja. Briggs is unabashedly Jamaican after all.

Briggs is a strange one alright. He was a dynamic, charismatic young personality who won the ‘Dream’ “Lineal” heavyweight title with a dubious decision over the nearing 50 yr old Big George Foreman, then was knocked out in a ferocious slugfest against WBC champ Lennox Lewis in his very next bout. Instead of rebuilding, he partied hardy and let his training and weight go, thus was written off as a wasted talent.

In spite of all the above shortcomings, many years later he managed to renew “The Dream” when Briggs lifted the WBO title from the then highly regarded Siarhei Liakhovich with a Hail Mary last second knockout in the 12th round, a title that Briggs promptly dropped in his first defense. He then retired to hit the all you can eat buffets for 2 yrs before coming back hard with 4 straight 1st rd Kos.

Now Briggs finds himself square in the middle in his 3rd opportune “Dream ” when Haye, Adamek, and Povetkin all shut down and beat strategic retreats rather than to fight the brothers in a losing cause. As the “2x” champ with an established name, Briggs should bring in the business once the promotion starts touting his KO record.

Der Knock-outers

Der Knock-outers

Brigg’s may be much older and slower of hand and foot than Sosnowski, but hugely larger and stronger, remaining a danger from rds 1-12. He’s already been making the right noises about knocking Vitali out, and while his overall boxing skills may be lacking for a top contender, he has the top experience, hunger, guile, and the natural talent and power to pull off the kind of spectacular upset that nobody else in the division would be capable of.

Bigger upsets have happened in the one punch Big Boy division, that’s for sure.

Der Braumeistrisses

Der Braumeistrisses

Vitali is self promoted and has chosen a juicy date in Germany after all the Oktoberfest lederhosen has been put away, Saturday, October 16th, at the O2 arena in Hamburg. Apparently he will be throwing a rock concert before and after since the bout appears to be the sole fight on the card.

It was quite the slap in the face of Haye that Vitali chose a weekend of WBC boxing festivities in London to do the initial promotion of the bout, but Haye appears to be quite shameless in avoiding any true challenge to his WBA belt he acquired under dubious circumstances. He instead kept himself squirreled away in a secret bunker in London, all while exchanging bitter twitter tweets with The A-Force, Audley Harrison in the Great ’10 Tweet Street War of Sweet Nothings & Handbags.

Yet there is also much reputation and respect to be lost for Vitali if he were to lose to Briggs who is widely derided as previously mentioned in spite of his obvious danger, but Vitali had little choice given the limitations of his division that has seen the Klitschkos dominate their opposition in a fashion never before seen in the history of the division.

Dr. Ironfist

Dr. Ironfist

Both are aging fighters born only months apart for whom the wheels may go flying off without warning. Briggs has many more fights, but owing to his impressive 1st round KO record, they have logged near identical pro rounds, 196 for Vitali and 194 for Briggs.

Vitali has a very long amateur record compared to Briggs and was also a championship kick boxer for several years, so his odometer has significantly more miles on the clock, making him more vulnerable in theory.

The promotion should be a success overall with the European, ie, German public for whom this fight is being targeted.

Briggs 262 - Klitschko 251

Briggs 262 – Klitschko 251

This was supposed to be Vitali’s last year before retirement, after all, he will be 40 yrs old next year, but like Manny Pacquiao’s last year, it may prove to be impossible to walk away from all the money on the table for his fights.

We shall see what The Fates deal out in a couple of weeks. It could be a prototypical methodical Vitali beatdown, or an upset for the new age, so tune in if you want to see knockout record setting heavyweights still in full command their game.

 

A Message From the Boss

A Message From the Boss