Former two-time heavyweight champ Shannon Briggs is the latest big name boxer to throw his hat into the bare-knuckle ring. Following Paulie Malignaggi and Randall Bailey (who never actually went through with his planned bare-knuckle debut last year), Briggs has expressed a real desire to try and fight without gloves.
Briggs, 60-6-1(53) and now 48 years of age and inactive since his May 2016 blow-out of Emilio Zarate, has taken to social media to call out MMA veteran Ricco Rodriguez, who he wants to face in a bare-knuckle dust-up. Apparently, Rodriguez, a few years younger than Briggs at age 42, said recently that Briggs would never be able to live with him in a fight, that the Brooklyn man is “washed up.”
Briggs wants the fight and he may or may not take a bare-knuckle tune-up bout first. But could “The Cannon” make it as a bare-knuckle fighter? As Malignaggi found out in his quite punishing fight with Artem Lobov, it’s not all about skill in bare-knuckle, more so sheer toughness (a bare-knuckle fighter can expect to swell up around the face, bleed and suffer broken facial bones if the fight lasts more than a couple of rounds – to say nothing of suffering injured hands). Malignaggi is far superior to Lobov in terms of boxing skill, but who won the fight?
Briggs has to his advantage his big punch, his ability to end a fight quickly, inside a round. But if Briggs did take a bare-knuckle bout and didn’t end matters fast, he would run the risk of being busted up AND of running out of gas, as has always been Briggs’ problem, even when he was a much younger man.
Briggs could possibly add some additional X-factor value to a sport that already has a big X-factor all of its own, but is it really worth the risk? Who knows if Briggs is in need of money, is simply bored and is unable to get himself any boxing matches, or if he simply cannot rid himself of the urge to fight.
Let’s see whether or not Rodriguez takes Briggs up on his offer.