Former lineal and one-time WBO heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs hits 45 today, yet far from being content in retirement (Briggs did, after all, turn pro way, way back in the summer of 1992) the former champ is restlessly looking for a big fight. With his “Let’s Go, Champ” mantra always at the ready, Briggs wants one more big one before he’s ready to call it a career.
And whether you feel Briggs is merely chasing one last payday as opposed to one last shot at inspirational glory, you have to admit that Briggs’ career has been quite a journey. Now, attempting as he is to become the second-oldest heavyweight king (after George Foreman, the one-time loser to Briggs, winning back the crown at the age of 45 years and ten months back in 1994) Briggs insists he simply needs the opportunity.
It looked as though Briggs, 60-6-1(53) had found a route back to the title (or “a” title, a version of the WBA title) with a fight against Lucas Browne, yet with “Big Daddy’s recent failed drugs test, Briggs finds himself let down once again. His verbally promised fight with David Haye also failed to materialise (through Haye’s fear to face him according to the New Yorker) and even though that one would not have been a title fight, Briggs, if he had got the win, would likely have earned himself a shot.
Now, as he approaches his 25th year in the prize ring, Briggs finds himself in the wilderness. Will he get his chance to become a three-time claimant of heavyweight gold, or will Briggs merely fade away? Briggs continues to train, he remains both upbeat and jovial and he has his fans. These fans, like the fighter himself, hope Briggs gets one last shot at glory before he finally retires.
Briggs, who last boxed in May (on Haye’s under-card as he agreed to do, so as to get the former WBA champ into the ring) knows time is not on his side. Still, he refuses to give in.
“We staying strong regardless of the circumstances. We been knocked down but we refuse to stay there,” Briggs wrote on social media a few hours ago.
Would Briggs have beaten Browne had their fight, mandated to go ahead before the end of this year before Browne failed his voluntary test, taken place? Many people think so. Briggs was perhaps so close to becoming a champ all over again.