East Side Interviews Paul Briggs

BY TONY NOBBS - A surprise announncement was made earlier this year when two time WBC 175 pound title challenger Paul Briggs announced he was returning to the ring Ė with a shot at friend Danny Green the goal.

Since retiring after a February 2007 decision win over South African journeyman Rupert Van Aswegan, which followed a second majority points defetat to Thomas Adamek in 2006, Briggs has spent his time commenating and training fighters , being one of the house trainers on the Contender Australia series..

To those who watched Briggs (who ended with a 26-3, 18 koís record) punch his way through the light heavyweight rankings under the mentorship of Rod Waterhouse, watching the Gold Coaster leave boxing without a world championship belt strapped around his waist was wrong.

ESB caught up with the 34 year old father of two and hereís what he had to say.

*Please note this interview was done in March, before the fight was officialy announced.

Eastside: Paul, firstly, the question everyone is asking. Why come back?

Paul Briggs: Iím a third generation fighter. Itís in my blood. Before fighting Adamek I hadnít lost in a long time and it was hard to cop. You know, for both those fights I was with new trainers (Jack Mosley and Johnny Lewis) and it was different, trying to adjust to the changes they were trying to make to my style. I wasnít the same (fighter) but did my best. It really gutted me going out like I did. My son Isiah gave me the okay to fight again. He actually asked me to retire before, so I asked him this time. If he said no I wouldnít be back.

ESB: Who will you be training under?

PB: Billy Hussein. We have worked together before. He knows what I need to do. I will go to Sydney and he will come up to the Gold Coast for different periods of our training. I have my old pad man Richard Walsh back. Rod (Waterhouse) always encouraged me to be creative, he let me flow with what came to me naturally and Iím getting back to being the creative fighter I had to be coming up, when I was really enjoying boxing. The good thing is I donít have any expectations. Thereís no pressure on me. Right now, Iím just enjoying getting up each day and working as hard as I can.

ESB: Danny Green is the target. If and when a fight between you two happens what can fans expect?

PB: At the very worst an amazing fight. We have sparred together alot, we know each other, I think that with the passion and intensity we both bring it will be a Gatti-Ward type fight for Australia. I think I will be his toughest opponent. I proved my toughness in the Adamek fights. I donít take too much into him knocking out Roy Jones, because he (Jones) was old. Danny won one of his world titles by beating a guy Iíd already beat (Stipe Drews). He won every round but he never dropped the guy. I put him down three times.

ESB: You beat four guys in the top ten before getting a shot at the title. Who do you rate your best win?

PB: Actually, Iíd go with Tosca Petridis (in 2000). He was a tough warrior, I knocked him out in a round, in his weight division (cruiserweight). That was the fight that really put other fighters on notice.

ESB: How did you enjoy being involved in The Contender?

PB: I love being in a camp environment and being around those guys watching them work, it reignited my desire to fight. Being in an environment like that for almost three months, where it was boxing, boxing, boxing, day in day out, I thought why not get in there and give it another crack.

ESB: Youíve done a lot of commentary work. How enjoying is that?

PB: I love commentating and look forward to continuing. I believe I have a broad knowledge of boxing and I like to share that with the audience and encourage some of the fighters coming up.

ESB: You have also trained some fighters. Howís that been?

PB: Again, Iíve been able to share what I have learnt from twenty years in fighting (Kick boxing and boxing). Also, I think when you teach, you learn and Iíve picked up a lot of stuff by working with younger guys.

ESB: Finally, Adamek has really kicked since you fought. Has his success inspired you?

PB: You know, we had two great fights. I went over and fought him in his own back yard. Both fights were close, I thought the first was very close and I could have got it. I had him badly hurt. In the second fight I had him down. What he has done since shows what a talent he is and is testament to my ability. Yes, itís inspired me but there are alot of other things as well.

Article posted on 12.07.2010

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