Shannon Briggs’ Walks a Dubious Path to a Title Shot

15.09.06 - By Tom Luffman: On November 4th, 2006, American “contender” Shannon Briggs (47-4-1 KO’s 41) will receive his second shot at a major heavyweight title when he takes on WBO titlist Serguei Lyakhovich (23-1 KO’s 14).

Unlike his first shot at the title, Briggs has done absolutely nothing to deserve this one. On the surface his corner and his fans put up a good argument as to why Briggs should be the man to face THE MAN. The heart of this argument is that he is undefeated in his last eleven matches dating back to 2003 and has won all of those matches by knock out. Wow! That does sound like a contender. However, when you peel back the veneer of the record it comes up severely lacking in any substance. Let’s look at his opponents during the win streak. Just like your body is what it eats, so a fighter is only as good as the people he beats.

We have to go back to March 27th, 2003, when the streak first begun. In the locker room that night before the fight Briggs was a man at a cross roads. He had been absolutely “Fowned” (F’n owned) by true contender Jameel McCline his last time in the ring. McCline won every round but one on all score cards. There was no controversy about the scoring. This had to weigh on the dredlocked one’s mind as he made his way to the ring to take on a clearly overmatched Marvin Hill who came into the match sporting a journeyman’s record of (10-8 KO’s 6). Clearly his career was beginning over again and needed a confidence booster. He was to get it by knocking Hill out within a round. I have no problem with this match. However, eleven fights into his comeback the competition has gotten only marginally better. Since decking club fighter Hill the names on his resume consist of these also-rans, a has been and never-weres:

John Sargent, Wade Lewis, Jeff Pegues, Demetrice King, Abraham Okine, Ray Mercer, Brian Scott, Luciano Zolyone, Dicky Ryan, and Chris Koval.

Honestly, who do you recognize on this list?

I’ll give you Ray Mercer, but you can hardly count him as a threat since he was about five thousand years old when the match took place and by five thousand I mean 44 and way past his prime.

My rub with Briggs getting a shot is his lack of fighting anyone that matters. Bert Sugar probably fought a tougher challenge when he defended himself in his office a few years back then any of the people on the list above. He simply does not deserve a title shot until he beats someone in the top ten, hell, top fifteen. Virtually the whole world pans the heavyweight division as being weak so why can’t Mr. Briggs even meet this meager standard? It’s a further blow to boxing’s creditability that it would allow this farce to be called a title match. I’m a long suffering Baltimore Orioles fan (please sell the team Mr. Angelos) and this “title match” would be the same as putting my downtrodden birds in the World Series against the New York Mets. It would be totally unfair to the other teams more deserving and to the fans who would be forced to watch the spectacle. Only in the backroom dealing world of boxing could such a shit sandwich be served to the masses as four star cuisine. Shame on them for calling this a title match, but if they are, then I want MY shot at the title. I kicked some frat guy’s ass at a party a few years ago that should pass the muster with this crowd based on these low standards.

Article posted on 16.09.2006

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