Boxing

Briggs: No Excuse for Vitali's Asthma Remarks

Incredibly, given the day and age, two-time heavyweight champion and upcoming title challenger Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs (51-5-1, 45 KOs) is once again having to publicly respond to derogatory remarks about asthma made by a current heavyweight champion.

On the heels of WBA belt holder David Haye referring to Briggs as "Shannon 'I need my asthma pump' Briggs" comes an interview WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko did with noted boxing writer Lem Satterfield entitled "Vitali Klitschko: Shannon Briggs' Asthma 'Just a Good Excuse'"..

In it, Klitschko is quoted as saying "This is not a deadly disease. Look at his fights, and you will understand that asthma - it's just a good excuse."

Briggs, who will face Klitschko on October 16 at the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany, is understandably outraged by Klitschko's dismissal of the serious and often deadly condition.

"There are 300 million people in the world with asthma and not one of them would agree with Vitali Klitschko that it's nothing serious. Isn't he supposed to be a doctor? A doctor of what???"

As a lifelong sufferer who has spent a great deal of his spare time advocating for asthma patients, especially children, Briggs is acutely aware that in 2009 alone, asthma caused 250,000 deaths.

"I have been in the trenches of this deadly disease and seen the heartbreak it causes," he continued. "I spend every day trying to convince young people stricken with it that they can be anything they want in life, despite their challenges. What the world doesn't need is someone who's supposed to be a role model dismissing their condition as no big deal. These kids are not faking and neither am I."

Briggs says that in a way ignorant statements like these are positive because they just fuel his desire to pull the upset in October. "I am now personally dedicating my knockout punch to the sufferers of asthma worldwide that Vitali has offended. I plan on being a three-time world champion who respects people and their challenges."

Article posted on 28.09.2010



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