Sunday, 04 January 2015 18:13

Stiverne vs Wilder: Should winner fight Shannon Briggs next?

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Should the winner of the January 17th WBC heavyweight showdown between Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder fight former belt-holder Shannon Briggs (57-6-2-1, 50 KO) next?
The 43 year old Briggs, since his comeback launched in April, is 6-0 with 5 KOs and has recorded four first round knockouts.

Despite his inside-the-ring prowess against much lesser foes, it's Shannon's outside-the-ring antics that have drawn the eyes and ears the boxing community.

For much of last year, Briggs publicly stalked lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in the hopes of getting a title shot. Although his highly publicized antics made mainstream headlines in the United States and Europe, Klitschko has recently maintained Briggs is not on his list.

Perhaps Briggs is stalking the wrong fighter?

The consensus and lineal heavyweight champion, Klitschko owns all major belts minus the WBC, which previously belonged to his brother, Vitali.

Wlad has been abundantly clear about his desire to become the first heavyweight champion to concurrently hold four major titles and have status as the RING Magazine/ lineal champ, as well as the first "undisputed" heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis in 1999.


Again, is Briggs stalking the wrong fighter?

Should Briggs fight and defeat the winner of Stiverne vs Wilder, Shannon would be in possession of the coveted WBC heavyweight title, thus leaving Wlad no choice but to agree to a showdown.

So, why would Stiverne or Wilder be interested in fighting Briggs?

Answer: The risk/reward factor.

If the winner of the WBC title fight in two weeks does not immediately face Klitschko, don't look for him to face a top contender right away.

Instead, he is likely to opt for a tune-up prior to his potential high-stakes showdown with Klitschko.


Given Shannon Briggs is a well-known, former champion who has been generating a lot of buzz lately, he may be an attractive title defense option for the winner of Wilder vs Stiverne.

A fight with Shannon would probably generate as much, if not more, interest and revenue than bouts with top contenders such as Kubrat Pulev and Vyacheslav Glazkov. In addition, Briggs, past his prime or not, is a good name for a fighter to have on his resume.

History shows new heavyweight champions tend to engage in at least one low-risk/high-reward tune-up within their first two title defenses, sometimes opting to face a former world champion who is deemed a relatively safe opponent.


First Title Defenses
(New Champion/Opponent)
  • Pinklon Thomas / TKO 8 Mike Weaver
  • Evander Holyfield (first reign) / UD 12 George Foreman
  • Riddick Bowe / TKO 1 Michael Dokes
  • Michael Moorer / KO 10 by George Foreman
  • Oliver McCall / UD 12 Larry Holmes

Will the winner of Stiverne vs Wilder opt to face former belt-holder Briggs in a presumably low-risk, 'stay-busy' bout?

If so, will Briggs make him regret it?
 

 

SC RIGHT

 

 

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