Beware...The Hurricane Lays In Wait!

14.09.04 – By Eddy Manning - - Hurricane Paul Briggs that is. Sitting on the verge of what could be the biggest world title fight for an Australian since Kostya Tszyu; Paul Briggs is one step away from fighting P4P Champion Antonio Tarver for the WBC Light heavyweight title. Briggs most recently outpointed undefeated Croatian giant Stipes Dews to earn the spot as the number one contender for Tarvers belt. Now as a lot of the world already knows and the rest is about to find out- The Hurricane has arrived.

Since trading the no holds barred game of kickboxing for the sweet science of boxing Briggs has been en route to the world title. A former multiple time world kickboxing champion he started his real boxing career in 1999, defeating most of Australia’s top light heavyweights and gaining the Australian and OPBF titles in the process. It was in 2003 that Briggs entered the world scene, coming up tough Argentinean veteran Jorge Castro for a spot in the top of the WBC rankings. Castro, who has never been knocked out in his life, was picked apart and beaten to the punch by a younger, fresher Briggs who won all but one round on the 3 judge’s cards.

The skill full Briggs, who first laced up a pair boxing gloves as an amateur at age six, was beginning to gain recognition on the world scene after appearing at #2 in the WBC rankings. Next step for Briggs was join the que for a shot at the then world champion, ‘Roy Jones Jr. When Briggs knocked out journeymen Juan Zabala in 5 rounds last October he was assigned the task off beating highly regarded and feared puncher ‘Jesus Ruiz for a mandatory position at the Winner of the highly touted ‘Jones Jr Vs Tarver match up.

Jesus Ruiz was a known ‘puncher’ and you only had to look at his record (18 Wins, 16 KO’s) to find that title true to form. Coming into his bout against Briggs, Ruiz sported three straight stoppage victories which made Briggs all the more cautious. The ‘plan’ Ruiz brought with him to Australia did not seem to go to order as Briggs again showed superior skill and speed to gain a UD over Ruiz, not without a small roadblock as Briggs was knocked down in the second round after leaving himself open and susceptible to a Ruiz power shot.

The time had now come for Briggs to set himself and prepare for a world title fight. Following the Ruiz bout Briggs announced that he had decided to move himself and his family and base himself out of California, USA for the next step in his journey. Following the major announcement he then hired Jack Mosley -The world renowned trainer and the father of p4p champion ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley. Briggs declared that this was a professional move and he was confident that Mosley had what it took to train him to a world title. Briggs was also confident that his profile would now be boosted in the USA due to the Mosley name.

With reports coming in that Briggs training was going better than ever before and he was running up to 20km at a time, it was obvious that Briggs tasted victory and in the form of a world championship was where it lay. Briggs final step on the way to a shot at his destiny was his highest yet…literally. 6’5 Croatian Stipe Drews who was ranked one spot under Briggs in the WBC had been mandated to face off against Briggs. The winner would be granted a guaranteed shot at the newly crowned p4p WBC light heavyweight champion ‘Antonio Tarver. The 5’11 Briggs knew that the huge height and reach advantage to Drews was not all he had to worry about, as Drews bought an unblemished record to the ring. Briggs reported that his preparation had been flawless with sparing from top ten rated light heavyweight Derrick Harmon and finely tuned skills thanks to the help of Jack Mosley.

Yet again, Briggs hard work and careful planning aswell as recently honed boxing skills paid off with a convincing UD against Drews. Briggs hard hitting was on display against Drews, knocking the giant down three times aswell as frustrating Drews into dirty tactics of kneeing and head butting (which he was deducted 3 points for). Any critics or doubters had been silenced and Briggs was ready for Tarver.

Before travelling back to America, Briggs spent some time back home on the Gold Coast with his family, also under going minor leg surgery from an old kickboxing injury but declared he will be back and training as soon as he gets back to the USA. With the biggest fight of his life just around the corner, the Briggs team along with the WBC had Briggs mandated as the man Antonio Tarver must defend against.

As this is being written the Briggs and Tarver camps are currently locked into a purse bid with the Briggs camp very confident they can bring the fight to Australia. If no agreement can be reached, the purse bid will take place at the WBC convention on October 7.

Most recently named the boxer of the month by the WBC, everything seems to be culminating very well for Briggs and nobody would have reason to write him off when he comes up against Antonio Tarver. A skilful and powerful fighter with the confidence and heart to match the Hurricane has arrived.

Article posted on 14.09.2004

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