Shannon Briggs Returns on Tuesday, Will Face "The Cajun Connection," Rafael Pedro

by James Slater - Former lineal and WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs returns to action tomorrow night in Hollywood, Florida, against 34-year-old Cuban fighter Rafael "The Cajun Connection" Pedro. Set for a scheduled ten-rounds, tomorrow's fight could well prove to be interesting..

Briggs, now aged 38 and with a good, 48-5-1(42) record, was (erroneously) reported to have been set to face Owen Beck in what will be his first fight back since his December 2009 No-Contest with Marcus McGee (this fight originally going in the books as a 1st-round stoppage win for "The Cannon," only for the result to be subsequently changed due to the New Yorker flunking his post-fight test due to his having taken an illegal substance); but now, in what is arguably a more intriguing match-up, Briggs will face the possibly dangerous Cuban.

Pedro's record, at 20-8-1(14) is not much to look at, and the 34-year-old has not fought since April of last year, when he lost a decision to the then 12-1-1 Skyler Anderson, but Pedro is in some ways a curious choice of an opponent for Briggs. First of all, the Cuban, who now lives in Louisiana (hence the nickname) is a big guy at 6'7" and approx 255-pounds and Pedro is also a durable guy, who has only been stopped one time as a pro (way back in his debut, in 1999).

No knowing how much Briggs, who has also been inactive as of late, has left makes predicting an outcome in this one pretty tricky. Pedro has never met anyone of Briggs' quality and experience before, and it remains to be seen what kind of shape he comes in at, but the younger man can punch some and he has also proven to be quite a spoiler in past fights (DQ'd no less than three times, once for knocking a guy cold after hitting him on the break). If Briggs wanted a comeback foe against whom to look good against, he and his team could surely have picked someone more appropriate than the fighter he will be in with.

Of course, it may well be that as soon as Pedro tastes Briggs still-formidable power he will either fall or lose all desire to fight. But it's possible Briggs may not have seen too much, if anything, of Pedro on tape, and if the "opponent" does come to fight and gets past the early rounds in doing so, the former champ may have some problems figuring his man out - and what will happen if Briggs gets tired during the ten-rounder?

Pedro has not won a fight since April of 2006 (losing his last three) and it may well be that he doesn't improve his winning percentage tomorrow at The Hard Rock. But will Briggs be able to make the "I'm Back" statement he wants against the sometime spoiler, and, perhaps more importantly, will he be able to look good in doing so?

Article posted on 11.04.2010

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