April 28, 2000
The April edition of Cedric Kushner's Heavyweight Explosion was one of the
more interesting since its run started in January at the Hammerstien Ballroom
in New York City.
Last night saw former Lineal Heavyweight Champion Shannon Briggs lose an
8-round decision to journeyman Sedrick "Big Buck" Fields. Fields, tko'd in
March by Oleg Maskaev, was thought safe for Briggs but it turned out
otherwise. Briggs, in poor physical condition, couldn't seem to get into the
fight mentally either. At one point while fields advanced on him, Briggs was
winking at Chris Byrd, who was sitting ringside. He was clubbed with a pounch
as he did so.
Former welter champ Buddy McGirt worked Shannon's corner, and by fight's end,
he was bathed in sweat, apparently from the frustration of seeing Shannon
ignore all of his suggestions. Several times, for example, McGirt sought to
have Briggs step to his right to get a better punching angle. Briggs,
however, remained immobile. In the seventh round, a woman sitting at
ringside yelled the same advice and Briggs actually listened. At this,
Buddy's eyes popped open in disgust and surprise.
In the end, nothing worked and a flailing Fields had hustled himself to a
majority win. Every single person I spoke to afterward was happy to see
Shannon lose. His record now stands at 32-3-1 (26 kayos). Fields with his
win moves to 10-9 (8 kayos).
The main event was a 10-round rematch between Al Cole and Frankie Swindell.
Cole had stopped Frankie in 11 in July 1991 for the USBA Crusierweight title.
Cole was having his first fight since being stopped in one by South African
Corrie Sanders. In that fight, Cole battered badly and stoped in just 1:03.
The pudgy Swindell has always been known to have decent skills offset by his
obesity -- the former 168-pounder weiged in at an incredible 254 for this
After several uneventful rounds, Cole began to tire and Swindell began to
land very heavy counter punches on the inside. By the later rounds, Cole,
completely exhausted was battered by the plucky Swindell and was nearly
stopped on at least two occasions. Cole, for his part, did try to win the
fight, but simply could not keep Swindell from landing.
The official verdict -- a draw, which was how I had it scored. Cole could
barely walk at the end of the fight and had to be helped from the ring to his
dressing room. Four years ago, I sat ringside as Cole took a battering in a
shutout loss to Tim Witherspoon. Barely two months ago, Cole had to be
rescued by his trainer, Eddie Mustapha Muhammad from serious harm after just
a minute of fighting. Tonight, barely escaped another knockout loss.
Simply stated -- Al Cole, a tough, good fighter at cruiserweight, is now a
shot fighter. Let us hope he retires before he becomes another statistic.
In other fights, Ray Austin stopped Tim "Nightmare Cat" noble in 2 rounds.
Noble, out of the ring for more that 3 years, has no skills whatsover, yet
has lost to Adolfo Washington, Shannon Briggs, Brian Neilson, Michael Grant,
and Courage Tshabalala (remember him?). Austin's record moves to 13-1 (10
kayos), his only loss coming in his debut against.
Charles "Buddy" Hatcher was bombed out in less than a round by Wyandanch
native Erik "Stone Kold" Kirkland. Kirkland, just 22, showed very good snap
in his punches and a killer's instinct. Apparently his amateur experience
was very limited, so he still has a way to go, but I look forward to seeing
him again. In another fight, Taurus Sykes won a 6-rounder over Cuban Lazaro