HBO Saturday Night: Lewis vs Briggs

by Pedro Fernandez

There are more than a few people who think Shannon Briggs is a "live-dog" against Lennox Lewis when they clash tonight night on Home Box Office for Lewis' WBC heavyweight belt.

The verbiage describing Briggs couldn't be better. For not only is he a betting underdog, Briggs has some canine in his blood that came to the forefront in his fight two years ago against Darroll Wilson.

Briggs came in the favorite, and the HBO suits were sitting ringside with fat contracts in hand. And for about a minute, Shannon was kicking Darroll's ass. Then, he expectedly ran out of gas and Wilson pulled off the second round upset.

In the minds of everybody but his management, Briggs had quit like a dog! Shannon had hit Darroll cleanly and often and looked like he was on the verge of halting Wilson.

But after taking Briggs' heat, Wilson came back and started kicking Shannon's tail. Having never before been in the kitchen, Briggs didn't know how to handle the heat. That's when he did his Lassie impression and quit.

And he is coming off a December split decision win over ancient George Foreman. It was a fight that nearly every person polled was of the opinion that Foreman had been the victim of a heist.

The defending WBC titleholder is Lennox Lewis. Some of you might not be fully aware of him. Lennox, is a Canadian who snared a Gold Medal when he beat down Riddick Bowe in Seoul. He is now an honorary "Brit" who rarely speaks of his Canadian citizenship.

As a pro he stands at 32-1, 26 KO's. His lone loss was to Oliver McCall. Lewis' porous defense had never cost him before. But when the two men both threw right hands in the second frame, it was McCall's punch that connected first.

And when you look at the video, what is even more amazing than the punch itself or the damage it did. But that as Oliver threw the KO shot, his eyes were closed! That's how McCall hit the "Chin Lottery."

Both of these guys like the role of the front runner. Lewis showed he has some stones as he rallied down the stretch against Ray Mercer enabling him to get the close win. But for the most part he prefers to get things over with as soon as he can.

Briggs is 30-1, and as his 24 KO's show he has some pop in his punch. He's 6'4, and is almost physically as big as the WBC beltbearer Lewis. When you analyze this fight, the glaring thing that comes to mind with Briggs is that old-slow George Foreman could hit Briggs with his telegraphed right hand loopers most of the night.

Which makes you have to think that Lennox is going to be able to land that right hand of his early. And once he does, it's curtains for Shannon.

Odds: 10-1 Lewis.
Prediction: Lewis KO 6

Pedro Fernandez

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The writer has his own site at www.fighters.comm and hosts a syndicated radio show "Ring Talk" which is heard coast to coast at 11 PM ET on the TALK AMERICA Radio Network. The LIVE Internet audio of the show is carried at

Ring Talk Sunday, also at 11 PM ET airs on "The Deuce" or TALK AMERICA 2 with live audio also at ON TALK 2.

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