The last American heavyweight champion has been garnering attention in the past few months and is aiming to reclaim the title he once held. Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Briggs has been on the comeback trail and has been very vocal in his desire to fight and beat reigning heavyweight champ, Wladimir Klitschko. At 42 years of age, Briggs is looking to stage a run which will see him face the champion who has not tasted defeat in a decade.
In part 2 of my interview with Shannon Briggs, he speaks about the goals he is trying to attain in his comeback and his public encounters with Wladimir Klitschko. Briggs also speaks about two other stars in the division, Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne and if he has any interest in meeting them in the ring. Lastly, Shannon talks about the current state of the heavyweight division and his thoughts on Klitschko. Here is what Shannon Briggs had to say.
Jenna J: Shannon, you gained a lot of attention during your comeback from obviously running into Wladimir Klitschko. Can you just tell me what that was like for you and what you are hoping to get out of that?
Shannon Briggs: I’m not hoping to get nothing, I’m just looking at what it is. I am who I am. That was natural, I was looking for nothing. I ran into him one day, I said hello to him and he didn’t speak, he was being rude and arrogant, like I think he is. I was like, “damn that’s messed up,” you know that’s the heavyweight champion of the world, it’s not how you treat people. I am a person, so you don’t treat people like that
If he didn’t know who I was, it’s terrible. If he knew who I was, he’d be worse because now I want to kick his ass. I decided to go to his training camp — I knew where he was training at — and I went in and I let him know, “Man, you ain’t nothing. You’re just fighting bums.” Just let him know honestly how I felt, and from that point someone recorded it and it went up on Youtube.
I decided and I made decision to really comeback to get in, and that’s what I did and I went over to Germany to let him know he ain’t nothing. Honestly, I’ve been sitting back the last couple of years watching him fighting bum after bum and then (Alex) Leapai, and I was like, “Come on enough is enough, it’s time.”
I left boxing on a bad note but I’m coming back on a great note because the people need it. Heavyweight boxing is dead, it’s dead — nobody is even talking about it. If you wake up everyday and you Google “heavyweight boxing” there is nothing going on. I decided to make this comeback, and guess what? The people let me know that they appreciate it.
Jenna J: Do you think Wladimir Klitschko will fight unless you’re a mandatory challenger?
Shannon Briggs: Mandatory, that’s garbage, who cares about all that? People want to see fights. People tired of watching him fight guys like Leapai, or all these guys you’ve never heard of. The heavyweight championship of the world has been over in Germany for the last 7-8 years.
People don’t even talk about heavyweight boxing, they talk about Floyd Mayweather, who is a welterweight. They’re talking about Cotto, they’re talking about anything except heavyweight boxing, so that’s what I am back for. I’m back for the people, and not just in America, all around the world, people don’t even know who the heavyweight champion in the world is. You ask and they don’t even know.
That’s why I’m back. I’m like, “You know what? The people need a champion they know, they like, they can feel that they could come up to and shake his hand.” Like I said, I went up to the man and I tried to say what’s up, and he acted like I was some poop puddle or some fan. I am a fan of boxing, not of him, but of boxing. That’s why I’m back, for the people.
Jenna J: Shannon I got to get your views on one of the other heavyweight out there. There is a guy out there who’s never gone more than 4 rounds, that’s Deontay Wilder. 31 wins 31 KO’s. What are your thoughts on him?
Shannon Briggs: ‘Beyonce’ Wilder? ‘Beyonce.’ He’s alright, he’s cool. But he ain’t Shannon Briggs, he’s fighting bums. Listen, I’m not going to knock the boy but I will say this, I’d like to fight him. I’ll fight him anytime, that’s an easy fight, no doubt. That’s an easy fight, I mean he’s wild, Jenna. Come on look at him, the boy is throwing punches….come on (laughs).
Jenna J: Well, lets talk about the other heavyweight, Bermane Stiverne. He’s got a heavyweight title, the WBC belt. What are your thoughts on him?
Shannon Briggs: Nice kid, nice guy, he’s too short though. Too small, he’ll never beat Klitschko, and he’ll never beat me. He’s too small.
Jenna J: Do you think you would go for a shot at him, or is Wladimir your heavyweight target?
Shannon Briggs: I want the heavyweight champion of the world. I don’t even want to fight ‘Beyonce.’ I want to fight the heavyweight champion of the world, Wladimir Klitschko, that’s who I want to fight. These other guys, they don’t mean nothing. Good luck but they got a long way to go.
I put my dues in, I already paid my dues. This is a Shelly Finkel hype job, we’ve already seen that in Michael Grant, you feel me? We’ve already seen that, we want to see something new, but something old but new. Shannon Briggs aka old fresh!
Jenna J: Well Shannon I just quickly want to touch on the boxing scene. You’ve done some commentary before, so I just want to get your views. Mayweather’s got a fight coming up with Maidana, a rematch. Who do you think will win that?
Shannon Briggs: That was a great fight, that first one. I don’t even know, I’m terrible at picking fights, I’ve told you that before. But that’s a great fight, maybe Maidana will improve, we’ll see. He’s always fought the same, but maybe he’ll improve and sharpen up.
We already know Floyd is going to sharpen up his tools and will be coming to the game on point. It’s gonna be if not a repeat of the first, which was a great fight, nothing wrong with that — maybe it will be repeat, maybe it will be something even better, who knows.
Jenna J: Back to you. Do you think winning the title by beating a champion like Wladimir, do you think that could be your ticket to the Hall of Fame?
Shannon Briggs: Yeah of course, that definitely solidifies it and puts me in the Hall of Fame. But I’m going regardless. I’m not going no where, I am 42 years young, I feel phenomenal. I don’t know if you’ve seen me lately but I’m in better shape at 42 than I was at 22. So I am not going nowhere.
I’m going to be around for couple of years. I’m going to be around maybe until I’m 45 or 46. I’m getting in phenomenal shape, I’m making money, I’m feeling good. I actually got some movie roles up coming, because of the fact that I got in shape to box. Now people are calling me, I have four movie roles on the table. Things are looking great, things are looking up.
Jenna J: If Wladimir Klitschko was standing in front of you right now,
Shannon Briggs: I would slap the shit out of him.
Jenna J: No no, if you could tell him anything to get that fight between you, what would you say to him?
Shannon Briggs: I ain’t doing no more talking. The next time he sees me, it’s gonna be hands.
Jenna J: So no words, just fists?
Shannon Briggs: No more talking, he likes to talk. Ain’t no more talking, this is personal. His brother beat me with one arm . He couldn’t knock me out or knock me down.
Jenna J: Well Shannon you are certainly back, for all the fans that support you, any message you’d like to pass on to them?
Shannon Briggs: I love you all. I love you all, thank you. I appreciate you if you support me, or if you’re against me, because you still support me even if you’re against me. All I am is a man trying to make it and feeds my kids, three kids and wife. I’m just trying to feed my family and do what’s best for us, and what’s best for us is for me to become the heavyweight champion for the 3rd time.