A buffed and big-mouthed Shannon Briggs crashed a Wladimir Klitschko training session in Florida earlier this week in hopes of coaxing the heavyweight champion to give him a title shot. “Every time I see you champ you’re fighting bums,” Briggs told Klitschko. “I’m the real champ. He ain’t the champ.”
Briggs, who invaded the ring after invading the facility, owns victories over Ray Mercer, Siarhei “the White Wolf” Liakhovich, and George Foreman. That last win gave Briggs the legitimate, lineal heavyweight title in the 1990s before Lennox Lewis quickly dethroned him. The naturally massive heavyweight boasts a 55-6-1 career record.
Though his body says 25, Briggs’s beard screams 42. The gray-whiskered heavyweight possesses the size to bang with the Ukrainian and the power to possibly put him down, as the younger Klitschko has shown a susceptibility to big punchers in visits to the canvass against Sam Peter, Lamon Brewster, and Corrie Sanders. But in his four-fight comeback, Briggs has fought inferior competition. And when last spotted prior to his un-retirement, the New Yorker recovered in a German hospital from a twelve-round beating administered by Klitschko’s older brother.
The former champion insists the confrontation, despite the presence of professional cameramen, was real.
Klitschko, who endured a press conference with a loud Briggs in attendance after his last fight, grew tired of his antagonist’s antics this week. “You gonna hit my face?” a perplexed champion asked. “I’m gonna knock you out.”
While Briggs’s four 2014 victories over unheralded fighters may not force fight fans to clamor for a title shot, his argument that Klitschko fights nobodies strikes a chord with boxing enthusiasts. Briggs claims, “Wladimir Klitschko is a pretender.”