Okay, you read the headline. It should probably say “these days” or “to Wladimir” but it doesn’t. I think the first time I saw Shannon Briggs was as a teenager when he got knocked out by Lennox Lewis after being gifted a decision against an ancient George Foreman in his famous 90’s return. Still, I remember being reasonably impressed by the American fighter, despite the result, and followed most of his ups and downs all the way through the 2000’s until his absolute hammering and retirement to Vitali Klitschko in 2010. A fight that became famous for the severe and sustained beating that Briggs endured.
Since emerging from retirement last year, the now 43 year old “Cannon” has won 7 times, 6 by knockout, albeit against a limited level of opposition. He has however managed to win two lightly regarded versions of Americas “world” titles along the way and keeps popping up at every opportunity to harangue and harass Wladimir Klitschko into some kind of a fight/freak show.
Be it on Youtube, knocking Klitschko off his paddle-board via waves from his boat, or crashing fight pressers like he did again earlier this week, it’s a desperate ploy from a faded, forgotten fighter who needs to have someone quietly whisper in his ear……..”It’s getting really fu***** boring now, champ.”
At yesterday’s weigh in for Klitschko/Jennings, the predictable was confirmed when Briggs announced on his twitter he was on his way to the event. The desperate need to crave the limelight and stay relevant has become cringe-worthy, and despite all his best efforts to secure the Wladimir fight, it is NEVER going to happen.
After what Vitali did to him, I really don’t know where he even gets the nerve!
We all know he is only even allowed into the premises by the good-grace of the Klitschko team, who ever shrewd in business dealings, realise the benefit of the press he generates with an American public who are largely indifferent to Wladimir’s return there anyway.
In short, they are allowing this sideshow for the entertainment and interest. Yet yesterday it soon became a freakshow when the relentless chanting of Brigg’s “Let’s Go Champ” phrase led into taunts toward, and an “altercation” with, current WBC champ Deontay Wilder.
A bemused Lennox Lewis stood in the midst of it all which only added to the bizarre-ness of the occasion for me. He ended up recording the proceedings and sharing them via twitter after hand.
Numerous “My d*** is bigger than yours” type-taunts ensued with Briggs’ ludicrous assertion of “I will knock you out” being all the more tragic as he actually believes it. Wilder countered with his own “I don’t play boxing” retort but you are left with the fact he was only humoring the aged New Yorker.
Numerous social media groups exist, championing the Shannon Briggs “cause” and the “LetsGoChamp” hashtag is rife on twitter. I think it’s time to ease off on that crap a little. I respect every fighter’s right to earn a living but don’t try talk into fights you are never going to get and simply don’t deserve. Briggs is now self-managed for a reason you know. This IS a money comeback but I think it’s the delusion and/or cold calculation in how he’s gone about it that has FINALLY turned me off.
I’ve knowingly done it myself, and helped peddle the circus, even tweeting mock-ups and memes of Briggs taunting Wladimir for humour’s sake. It was kind of funny.
Yet I think for me, the joke has at last worn off. It’s simply not funny anymore. I’m getting really, really tired of Shannon Briggs.
Lennox Lewis, 17 years removed from his own victory over Briggs tweeted of the melee yesterday;
“Gotta admit this is entertaining. Pass the popcorn please!”
I’d be more inclined to say pass the sick bucket Lennox, mate. For me, it’s definitely “Goodbye, champ”, I’m done…….