Shannon Briggs: Should He Really Fight On?

By James Slater: Shannon Briggs refused to quit during his brutally one-sided fight with WBC heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko, and “The Cannon” has made it clear he will not be quitting the ring either. From his hospital room in Germany, where he has been recovering from a severe bicep injury since Saturday’s fight, Briggs vowed to members of the German media that he would fight on.

Though the beating he bravely took against “Dr. Iron Fist” sure looked like a career-ending one to many people, the former linear champ says he “feels great,” right now and that he wants to get back in action when he can.

“I’m fine, I am looking forward to coming back, I feel great,” Briggs said yesterday, as reported by

Briggs also spoke about his losing effort, agreeing that the fight was, “one of the toughest fights of my life. A brutal fight.”

“You can’t quit in front of your wife,” Briggs added, explaining why he took the 12-rounds of punishment.

There’s no doubting Briggs’ heart any more, even if some people still maintain he never really tried against Vitali. But having heart and being brave is one thing; what can the 38-year-old possibly have left now, after taking that damaging amount of punches? Sure, Briggs, when he’s healed (his arm, that is – we don’t know about the long term affects the head shots he took will have on him), could well come back and beat the calibre of fighter he was taking out in the comeback that led to his shot at Klitschko. But could Briggs possibly be able to return and defeat a top-level foe? Would it be plain foolish for him to even think about putting his chin in the firing line of another hard-hitting, top-ranked fighter?

Briggs never spoke about who or when he plans to fight again, just that he would not be retiring just yet. Maybe the words he spoke were nothing more than words of bravado, and maybe after he’s sat and watched a tape of the hammering he took on October 16th, Briggs will change his mind about putting himself through anything close to that again. Of course, after the bravery he showed against Vitali, Shannon has the right to go out of the sport of boxing when, and only when, he wants to.

Maybe Briggs likes the idea of going out a winner. But journeymen and trial horse-types aside, are there any fighters out there against which Briggs could go out a winner? I’m pretty sure 90-percent or more of the experts and fans you cared to ask on the subject of whether or not Briggs should fight again would tell you “no!”

It’s Brigg’s call. He’s earned it. But who really wants to see him in a ring again?

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