Briggs and Mayweather: Boxing’s Odd Couple

04.06.06 - They are complete opposites, one a giant, hulking 6’ 4” wall of heavyweight power and muscle, the other, a former lightweight known for his clever defense and feather fists. Trainer Jeff Mayweather is a college graduate from the Midwest and an overachiever. He was a small fighter, who threw a conservative amount of pinpoint punches while going the distance in nearly all of his fights..

He was sometimes thought of as the least talented of the famous Mayweather family, but his tireless work ethic in training helped him win the IBO Junior Lightweight title and defend it three times. An extremely pensive, calm and bookish man, Mayweather carries himself with a quiet dignity.

Heavyweight contender Shannon Briggs is as big and talented as they come. Even though he won the linear heavyweight title by beating George Foreman and has compiled an impressive 47-4-1, 41 KO's record, some still consider the immensely gifted Briggs an underachiever. Known for throwing vicious hooks to the head and body with reckless abandon and bad intent, Briggs’ past lack of defense and stamina were seldom exposed because of his natural power and hand speed – No one hung around long enough to push him.

Not a college graduate, Briggs is an alumnus of the Brooklyn School of Hard Knocks. He was raised on the streets of Brownsville, was sometimes homeless as a youth, with his father in jail for the attempted murder of a police officer.

Briggs is as loud and outgoing as Mayweather is quiet and shy. Mayweather is reserved while Briggs is a shameless self promoter. They are Boxing’s Odd Couple and together they find themselves on the verge of winning the heavyweight championship.

They say what makes a truly great pairing is when two people complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

In Briggs, Mayweather has found all the power he lacked. In Mayweather, Briggs has found the calm voice and experience he needed in the corner. And judging by the strength of Briggs’ performance in his last fight against badly battered Chris Koval, things are working out perfectly.

Briggs seemed to have mastered the Mayweather style in the Koval fight. He threw fast jabs and laser rights mixed in with plenty of slips and counters…but miraculously, he still carried all the natural power he has been blessed with.

One without the other, they are very good. But together, they are deadly. Boxing’s Odd Couple may have what it takes to go all the way!

Article posted on 04.06.2006

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