David Haye: Next fight should be Shannon BriggsWritten by Lee Cleveland
Many in boxing thought former two division champion David Haye (28-2, 26 KO) would be facing another former belt-holder, Shannon Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KO), tonight.
But, for whatever reason, David opted to fight Tony Bellew instead. And as a result, there's tremendous bad blood between Briggs and Haye.
Briggs insists they had a verbal agreement to fight each other last fall. In fact, Shannon fought on the undercard of David's last fight leading many to think a Haye vs Briggs showdown was imminent.
In October in a recent, highly entertaining video produced by Tru School Sports, Shannon Briggs said:
"Your boy David Haye went on IFL TV ... and was talking crazy..."
"He [said he] thought once he won the title, it [Haye vs Briggs] would be a bigger fight."
"These are all lies. You're lying to your fan base."
"You're a coward and a liar. That was never discussed. We were gonna fight for nothing [no title], Champ."
But is there a method to Haye's madness?
If Briggs faces and defeats Fres Oquendo next, the former will have a share of the heavyweight title as the WBA has mandated Briggs and Oquendo to fight for it's 'regular' heavyweight title.
Will we see Briggs vs Haye in a WBA title showdown? It would be huge, even considerably bigger than tonight's showdown.
Not only do both fighters appear to have a genuine disdain for each other, they represent two of boxing's most bombastic personalities.
Moreover, both fighters are knockout artists with contrasting styles in the ring and would be competing for a share of the title.
Who cares Shannon is 45? Although he would be the clear underdog, he still possesses crippling power and, as a result, has a 'puncher's chance' against any heavyweight - including David Haye whose ability to absorb punishment is questionable. Let's face it, David doesn't get hit cleanly often.
Briggs is 9-0 on his comeback and boasts 36 first-round knockouts, more than any other heavyweight champion in history. And we know Shannon has a great chin, something that may serve him well against the explosive, quicker 'Hayemaker.'
If they are both victorious in the upcoming bouts, David Haye should fight Shannon Briggs next.
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.