Shannon Briggs Back In Action On October 17

Phoenix Rising Gets Even Hotter as former WBO and Linear World Heavyweight Champion Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs to appear in the co-featured bout, October 17 in Phoenix, Arizona. When Shannon Briggs (48-5-1, 42 KOs) won the WBO Heavyweight Championship via thrilling knockout over Sergei Liakhovich in November 2006, manager Ivaylo Gotzev of Elite boxing Management was very outspoken in representing Liakhovich. Time changes everything. The power-punching Briggs and the crafty manager Gotzev have joined forces with a goal of changing the heavyweight championship landscape and the facial features of current WBC king Vitali Klitschko..

Briggs and Gotzev will begin their partnership on Neworld Promotions' "Phoenix Rising", event on October 17 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona, against an opponent that is TBA.

The main event that night will feature former cruiserweight champion and 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Vasiliy "The Tiger" Jirov (37-3-1, 31 KOs) making his return against Dominique Alexander (18-7-1, 9 KOs).

"Shannon made a believer out of me with his performance against my (then) fighter Sergei Liakhovich," explained Gotzev of his reason for teaming up with Briggs. "And then when I was sitting ringside watching the mostly boring Vitali Klitschko vs. Chris Arreola match, I had a vision. I saw Shannon Briggs facing Vitali in a very exiting battle. And that's the goal we have in mind. We want to see how Vitali feels when he's looking at an opponent eye to eye who can punch harder and faster than he can."

Briggs says he's had designs on pairing up with Gotzev for a long time. "This is something that was going to happen years ago," recounted Briggs. "A friend of mine suggested we hook up because he's a young go-getter and he hustles for his fighters. We hung out and I like his energy." Out of the ring for two years, Briggs also says this is a perfect time for their alliance. "I needed the time to recharge. When I lost the title in 07, I had walking pneumonia. I wasn't prepared. It wasn't a smart move for me to defend the title in that condition. If you look at the heavyweight champions of the last few years, other champions have been allowed postponement after postponement. I was forced to fight with pneumonia. This time off was to recharge and heal from the pneumonia. I'm ready to rock and roll now."

Briggs has always maintained he is the lone American-born fighter who can take out the Klitschko brothers. "I'm the last American-born heavyweight champion and I'm going to be the next. You have to be able to hurt these guys. I'm the only one big enough, strong enough and experienced enough. Emanuel Steward has said many times that I'd be a very dangerous opponent for either of them. Tell me who? Who is out there with the right stuff to take these guys down besides me? People are tired of watching the Klitschkos. They want to see faces busted open. That's what boxing needs to be a dominant sport again. That's what I do."

The Phoenix Rising event is loaded with significant fights. In another supporting bout, Phoenix native and star of The Contender series, Eric "Dynamite" Vega (8-4-1, 6 KOs) will face heavy-fisted former world champion Kelvin "Konkrete" Davis (24-10-3, 17 KOs) in an all-action cruiserweight showdown.

Also on the undercard, Arizona will get its first look at former amateur world champion and now undefeated light heavyweight Ismayl Silakh of the Ukraine (9-0, 8 KOs).

Also scheduled is an intriguing showdown between Phoenix super lightweight Eddie Brooks (8-2, 3 KOs) and Sweden's undefeated Shadi Hamsho (10-0, 2 KOs).

Tickets for "Phoenix Rising" are available at the Celebrity Theatre box office, online at or by calling 602.267.1600. They are priced at $25 and $50 with a limited number of Gold Circle VIP seats available for $100

Article posted on 01.10.2009

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