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Everybody Asks Me...

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY - Shannon Briggs, former heavyweight titlist, argues with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko during a press conference before the fight between Klitschko and Alex Leapai in April.
DUSSELDORF, GERMANY - Shannon Briggs, former heavyweight titlist, argues with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko during a press conference before the fight between Klitschko and Alex Leapai in April.
Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images

Everybody asks me and I tell them that heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings reminds me of the young Evander Holyfield. It's just something about the grit and determination that Jennings shows leads me to state that. Jennings is not the biggest heavyweight in the world of today's monsters but he more than makes up for that by hanging in there and never giving up. His win over Mike Perez was an ugly affair, but it's the type of affair that will help the inexperienced and undefeated Jennings as he goes forward. His promoter Gary Shaw stated the other night that Jennings won't get his WBC title shot until the spring of 2015 so I say keep Jennings active and keep him in the ring. He could easily fight two or three more times between now and then in and around Philadelphia. It would do him good to keep him active and also gain more experience and confidence. I like Jennings' chances against either Bermane Stiverne or Deontay Wilder.

Everybody asks me a and I tell them I am glad to see Brandon Rios back in the ring tonight on HBO versus Diego Chaves. Rios is an action fighter and is still young enough to make some noise around the welterweight division. When he has his mind focused on boxing my belief is that he can hang with anyone in the top 10 as he proved in a losing effort against Manny Pacquiao. I am not sure Rios belongs at 147 and he may have to make a career of fighting at catch weights of 144 or so but tonight's fight against Chaves in Las Vegas should give us a better understanding of that. You have to figure that only two years ago Rios was fighting as a lightweight so it's a big jump to welterweight and the bigger punchers. Tonight is a risky fight for Rios because Chaves is tough and he can punch.

Everybody asks me and I tell them to never count Bernard Hopkins out of any fight. The wily Hopkins has signed a contract to meet WBO light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev provided Kovalev makes it past Blake Caparello tonight in Atlantic City. The winner will hold three of four 175-pound title belts and at age 49 it would be an incredible feat if Hopkins (holder of the WBA and IBF belts) could pull it off. Long story short - Kovalev isn't the most schooled boxer on the face of the planet and he doesn't have the best footwork in the world. Kovalev may be just the type of fighter that Hopkins will be able to do his thing against - slow the fight down to a snail's pace, hold, pot shot Kovalev here and there and get the victory. Think Hopkins versus Tavoris Cloud all over again. Kudos to Hopkins for taking that fight when the bout with WBC titlist Adonis Stevenson fell apart in negotiations.

Everybody asks me and I tell them that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will easily defeat Marcos Maidana when the two meet again in September. I'm no big fan of Mayweather and never have been, but he knows that what made their first fight close was when he allowed Maidana to back him to the ropes and flail away. Once Mayweather made the adjustment and brought the fight to the center of the ring Maidana was clueless. In order to beat Mayweather you have to jab him. Oscar De La Hoya showed everybody how to do that years and years ago and had he kept jabbing he would have won the Mayweather fight instead of losing a split decision. Roger Mayweather, Floyd's uncle and trainer has said the same thing - that in order to beat Floyd one needs a jab. He even alluded to De La Hoya when he made that statement. Maidana doesn't jab enough to throw Floyd out of his rhythm and Mayweather loves it when a fighter comes straight at him throwing big punches - as Maidana does. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mayweather pitch a shutout or stop Maidana late this time around.

Everybody asks me and I tell them that I wouldn't mind seeing Shannon Briggs meet Wladimir Klitschko in the ring for real. Briggs has been making a lot of noise lately with pursuing Klitschko and insulting him to his face over and over. At 42-years-old Briggs appears to be in the shape of his life and at least is going after a title shot like the old timers used to do - by goading the heavyweight champ into it. Sort of reminds me of Cassius Clay's relentless and crazy pursuit of Sonny Liston fifty years ago. I don't think Briggs would stand much of a shot but in heavyweight boxing you just never know. One punch can change everything - and that's why they fight the fights.