by James Slater – Over the Christmas holidays, news broke of how former linear and WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs’s recent 1st-round comeback win over journeyman Marcus McGee was changed to a No-Contest due to how the 38-year-old was found to have been using an “illegal substance” during the bout. Briggs who had another fight pencilled in for early 2010 according to BoxRec, now has no upcoming fight at all. Does this mean, then, that due to the trouble he is presumably in because of what happened after the McGee fight, that Briggs’ latest comeback has ended after just one fight?
During the time that followed his disappointing loss to Sultan Ibragimov, Briggs drifted out of boxing, only to decide to give it one more serious go towards the latter half of last year. Reportedly throwing himself in to a training regimen that included a ton of roadwork designed to help him get over the stamina problems his asthma gave him in previous fights, Briggs, 48-5-1(42) said he was back and on the hunt for an eventual fight with one of the two Klitschko brothers.
After his first comeback opponent fell through, Briggs was matched with McGee in early December, and as expected, the still powerful and muscular-looking Brooklynite dispatched the oft-beaten fighter with ease. Until the subsequent tests that revealed Briggs had been taking something illegal, that is. Since then, a news article, picked up by web site MMA Fighting, spoke of how the former champ may go back into Mixed Martial Arts as a way of earning a living (Briggs did have one MMA fight a few years back, a win).
Say what you want about Briggs, but even at age 38, if properly motivated and conditioned, “The Cannon” could maybe have been welcomed back amongst the heavyweight division after a couple more comeback wins. Still a big name and still a good talker, Briggs, win or lose, would have made a fight with one of the Klitschkos far more interesting than a number of guys his age will if and when they face one of the all-conquering siblings. But now, with no fights up as happening any time soon, and the “illegal substance” tag around his neck, Briggs may well have lost any chance he may have had at getting one last big fight before retiring.
It would be most interesting to hear Shannon speak up on the No-Contest saga, his plans for the future and other things. Has the career of the man who rumbled with the likes of George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Ray Mercer and Francios Botha ended with a whimper instead of the bang Briggs was hoping for against a Klitschko? Only the fighter himself can answer that, but right now it looks like it.