Heavyweight contender Shannon Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KOs) showed that he can still punch with massive power in taking out journeyman Emilio Zarate (20-17-3, 11 KOs) in the 1st round with a perfectly placed left hook to the body. Zarate, 34, dropped to the canvas after getting hit by Briggs’ powerful body shot and he stayed down in agony until the fight was halted by the referee at 2:22 of the round.
Briggs, 44, threw nonstop body shots the moment the round started. It’s pretty easy to understand why Briggs didn’t throw any punches to the head. He doesn’t seem to have the accuracy or timing to land head shots like he did in his prime. However, Briggs can still throw to the body and he seems to have almost as much power as he did in his prime.
Briggs wasn’t known as a big body puncher during his best years, but he’s turned into one out of necessity in his comeback. It’s pretty neat the way that Briggs has retooled his game to use a different weapon in his comeback from the one that he used in his youth. It’s kind of similar to how George Foreman used his jab frequently when he made a comeback in his 40s. He didn’t use a jab much in his youth because he was focused on banging his opponents out with big shots.
Briggs’ victory over Zarate now puts him in a big fight against former two division world champion David Haye in September. Haye said that if Briggs would fight on his undercard, then he’d fight him later this year. Briggs did his part, so now he’s going to be facing Haye in September.
Haye might live to regret making that deal with Briggs because this promises to be a difficult fight for Haye, who is little more than a pumped up cruiserweight fighting in the heavyweight division.