You can call Shannon Briggs crazy if you want. You might have a case, but I say that Shannon Briggs is crazy like a fox. With two recent first round knockouts over hapless opponents in a span of eight days and two “attacks” in the past month on world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko “The Cannon” as he is known just might get the title shot he so covets.
Briggs, fresh off another first round kayo win on Saturday night, crashed the press conference Tuesday morning at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dusseldorf, Germany in which Klitschko and his Australian challenger Alex Leapai were hyping their Saturday title fight. Much like his first verbal assault which took place at a gym in Hollywood, Florida where both men train, Briggs again went on a tirade and rather than throw his shoe at Klitschko, he threw his T-shirt.
It was a scene straight out of a Rocky movie. Rocky III to be exact, when Clubber Lang played by Mr. T showed up at the unveiling of Rocky Balboa’s statue on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Briggs stormed into the hotel ballroom Tuesday and began ranting and raving just as he did last month in Florida about how he was the “last American heavyweight champion” and that Klitschko has been “fighting nothing but bums”
In this day and age it is a strategy that just might lead to a title shot for Briggs. He began fighting again on April 11. He scored a first round stoppage win on that night and then again this past Saturday. At age 42, he appears to be in great condition as he continually posts shirtless photos of himself on Instagram and Twitter. Whether that bodybuilder physique translates into boxing condition is another matter entirely, but the man at least looks good.
The last time Briggs was in a ring prior to this month was Oct. 2010 when he met Wladimir’s brother Vitali for the Ukrainian’s WBC heavyweight title. Briggs lost every one of the twelve rounds, suffered a broken jaw, torn bicep and wound up hospitalized for several days. Now three-and-a-half years later he has zeroed in on Wladimir for a perceived slight which took place outside the gym in Florida where they both train.
Briggs has stated that he will follow Wladimir wherever he goes in the world in order to goad him into giving him a shot at the championship. Briggs fought in Minnesota Saturday night and was in Germany Tuesday morning so it seems he is making good on his intention. Rather than fighting his way into a legitimate contender position, it seems Briggs’ plan is to get under Wladimir’s skin to such a degree that he agrees to a bout simply to shut Briggs up.
It appears as though Wladimir may just be incensed enough to agree to a Briggs bout. It’s actually a coy strategy and a quick way for Briggs to dig himself out from the financial hole he has found himself in over the past several years. Briggs claims he wound up with virtually nothing but empty pockets from the Vitali Klitschko fight and with legal judgements garnered against him from a former publicist ($420K) and a University of Miami football player whom he pounded in a bar brawl ($2MM) it would seem that Briggs could be in need of money.
If the fight ever does happen, chances are Briggs will find himself in the hospital again - but at least he’d get his place in the sun, a few more of his 15 minutes of fame as well as a big paycheck. There are lots of folks that would like to see it happen and more than likely it would fill a stadium in Germany where Klitschko is extremely popular. Briggs has proved he is an excellent salesman and his thespian endeavors in Bad Boys II and Transporter 2 are serving him well in this role as a real-life Clubber Lang versus Rocky Balboa.