By Scott Gilfoid: Grizzled 45-year-old veteran Shannon Briggs wants to fight former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury once he gets his boxing license back and he’s able to fight in 2018. Briggs says he sees the 6’9” Fury as a “punk” and feels he’s “scared” of him.
Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) hasn’t given any hints about who he wants to fight when he’s given the green light to fight again. Fury wants IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in late 2018, but he’s not saying who he’ll be fighting before then.
Fury, 29, is waiting on the results from the UK Anti-Doping hearing to find out whether he’ll be allowed to fight again.
One thing that Briggs has working against him in being able to get the Fury fight in early 2018 is his punching power. Briggs hits too hard, and he’s too experienced to be viewed as a tune-up level opponent. Even though Briggs hasn’t fought since May 2016, he’s still too dangerous for him to be used as a tune-up for Fury.
Briggs is someone that Fury would likely only face if he were fully tuned up and fighting on all 8 cylinders once again. If Fury fights Briggs in his first fight back after 2 years out of the ring, it could be a disaster for him. All Briggs needs to do is land one big left hook or right hand on Fury’s chin to take him out. Briggs is more of a body puncher at this stage of his boxing career, but he’s still very dangerous in that area as well.
“My target is Tyson Fury. He’s a chump, he’s a punk. He shot some words at me on Twitter but he’s scared of me.” said Briggs to skysports.com. ”If he needs a tune-up for a title fight, why not fight a 45,000-year-old man?”
If Fury was still fighting 2 to 3 times a year and he needed a tune-up opponent, he might look Briggs’ way, but he’s not about to take him in his first fight back after being out of the ring for the last 2 years.
Fury’s last fight was in November 2015 with him being former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko by a 12 round unanimous decision. Fury caught Wladimir on his worst night. Wladimir was not mentally prepared to fight the way he need to for him to beat Fury. Even then, Wladimir still came close to winning the fight. It was a close contest from start to finish. Fury fought purely defensively with the way he was throwing jabs into the air to make Wladimir think twice about throwing shots. The jabs weren’t meant to hit Wladimir. They were meant to offset his timing and to confuse him. That style wouldn’t have worked for Fury in the rematch, as Wladimir would have been fully prepared for it. The Wladimir that fought Anthony Joshua would have blown Fury out of the water in 2 or 3 rounds. Wladimir was better prepared mentally for the Joshua fight than he was for his contest with Fury.
“It’s a tough road back for him and I’m a fight that he doesn’t want,” said Briggs. “I like Fury but I want to knock him out. Once I knock out ‘the whale’ – that’s what I call Fury – I bet that Wladimir Klitschko will come back [to fight me].”
Wladimir won’t fight Briggs no matter what he does. Wladimir is retired from boxing, and he would be opening himself up to a tremendous amount of criticism if he were to come back to fight an old timer like Briggs. The boxing public would want Wladimir to fight Fury and Joshua again, and not Briggs. Coming back to fight Briggs would be a bad look for Wladimir, given that he has unfinished business with Joshua and Fury. Wladimir didn’t give his best in either fight.
The way that Wladimir fought both of those guys was odd and self-defeating. If Wladimir had his old trainer Emanuel Steward in his corner for the Fury and Joshua fights, he would have had a great chance of winning both of those fights. Steward was able to get Wladimir to fight aggressively when he would urge him to do so during his fights. After Steward passed away, Wladimir replaced him with Jonathan Banks, who he wouldn’t always follow his directions during fights. Banks was telling Wladimir to go after Fury, and he wouldn’t do it.
Fury wants to fight Joshua and shut him up. Joshua recently took to Twitter, and called Fury a“Fat f—k,” which seemed to really upset him to no end. Fury responded with this comeback on Twitter:
“This is a message to the weight-lifter, big Anthony Joshua – the tough man. Who told me to get fit? I don’t need to get fit to fight somebody like you, at all. I’ll come to you and I’ll punch your face in for you. Even at 25 stone. So I really don’t need to get fit for you, put it that way.”
Briggs’ last win came in 2016 in stopping Emilio Zarate in the 1st round with a body shot. It was a good performance from Briggs, but it came against a poor opponents. Briggs has taken nothing but tune-up level opposition since launching his comeback in 2014. He’s put together a string of 1st round knockouts over 3rd tier opposition.
Briggs tried to get a fight with former 2- division world champion David Haye last year, but he didn’t want any part of taking that fight. Since then, Briggs has done nothing with his career. He was suspended from boxing after testing positive for drugs. Briggs is now cleared to fight again. Fury would be an ideal guy for Briggs to face if he could get him to agree to the fight, but he’s probably not in the cards for him.
7 years ago, Briggs challenged WBC heavyweight champion Vtali Klitschko for his title in 2010. Vitali thrashed Briggs badly in beating him by a one-sided 12 round decision. Briggs suffered a left biceps injury early in the fight, and he was unable to do much of anything other than take punishment for 12 rounds. You can argue the fight should have been stopped by the 6th, because it was one-way traffic even that early in the fight.