Shannon Briggs Is Serious, Down To 242-Pounds Already - Emanuel Steward Says This Will Be Vitali Klitschko’s Toughest Fight!

By James Slater - Fans of New York’s former heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs can take heart in the fact that the 38-year-old is taking his training very seriously ahead of his fast approaching challenge of WBC king Vitali Klitschko. Reportedly down to a svelte 242-pounds with over a week to go until fight night, “The Cannon” has clearly been doing his work. Not since way back in 2001 has Briggs weighed this low.

This revelation regarding the October 16th challenger’s weight comes hot on the heels of the statement made by Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, who told that he believes Briggs will give “Dr Iron Fist” the most difficult fight in his long career..

“I believe that it’ll be the most difficult fight in Vitali’s career,” Steward said of the upcoming rumble. “I personally talked to him about it. Briggs is big and he hits hard. Vitali can’t relax as he allowed himself to do in bouts against Albert Sosnowski, Samuel Peter, etc. Briggs will be very dangerous in the first three rounds.”

Most fans felt Briggs, despite his age and recent inactivity - just four rounds of action since June of 2007 - would definitely be dangerous in the early going. But now, given his apparently great physical condition, maybe Briggs will be dangerous and posing a threat to the elder Klitschko brother for a lot longer than just a few early rounds.

Steward, not one to give in to hyping a fight unnecessarily, surely means it when he says Briggs will give Vitali a tough time, and he may have given the above quotes BEFORE realising how lean and mean Briggs is right now.

The knock on Briggs has always been that he runs out of gas quite quickly in fights (he does, of course, have asthma, and that won’t go away no matter how hard he trains) - but just suppose he doesn’t fall foul of early fatigue a week on Saturday. What if Briggs sticks around until the later rounds, with his stamina holding up and his punch output doing likewise? Against the 39-year-old champ, could the challenger test the Klitschko reign of dominance like no other fighter has in recent years?

Put it this way, if Briggs is still there past the 7th or 8th-round and if his chin has not been rattled by the champion’s power, the fight will have reached a very interesting stage - if Briggs has done enough to have won his share of rounds, that is. It will be no good if Briggs sticks around but does nothing by way of effective and aggressive fighting at the same time.

By the sounds of it, though, and as hard as he’s apparently trained for his last big chance at reaching the top, Briggs will give it a go and look to throw bombs for as long as he’s able. If his current weight does reflect a fighter who is conditioned to fight like never before, Briggs could be on the verge of doing something amazing!

Article posted on 07.10.2010

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