Shannon Briggs (born December 4, 1971) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1992 to 2016. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the lineal title from 1997 to 1998, and the WBO title from 2006 to 2007. He’s more famous for chasing Deontay Wilder around the world, screaming “ Let’s go Champ!”, but in his heyday Shannon Briggs knocked 38 men out in one round. We know “The Cannon” has no problem challenging today’s top fighters, but what would happen if Briggs stepped into the Golden Era of Heavyweight. Well, there’s one way to find out! Let’s Go Champ!
Vs. Joe Frazier: Joe Frazier is not a great first round fighters. In any fight that has gone past round one, he lost the maiden round. His worst fight saw him dropped three times in the first round by George Foreman. But, that’s George Foreman. More important than going down three times, he stood up three times. Then, he went down three times I’m round 2. But he made the count! Even though, it was ruled a KO loss, Frazier was standing. Shannon Briggs bulldozed 38 men in round 1. Of his 60 wins, 53 are by knockout. An aggressive brawler who throws combinations at any range versus a slow to start swarmer breeds a first round knockdown. Down goes Frazier again! But again, he rises…and wins. Joe Frazier was the type of boxer to prefer war. In viewing his fights with Jimmy Ellis and Muhammad Ali, I noted the work Frazier put in on body shots. Body attacks drain the opponents stamina and capacity to fight. Shannon Briggs has asthma. His cardio also did him in knockout losses to Lennox Lewis and Darroll Wilson. Joe Frazier would be able to withstand the early storm and deliver a steady ponding to Briggs’ midsection and get the win. Frazier got up from Oscar Bonavena twice and he would do so here.
Joe Frazier wins by knockout in rounds 6 to 8.
Vs. George Foreman: This fight would be a rematch of sorts. Shannon Briggs has a controversial majority decision win over George Foreman. It is controversial because George landed more punches at a higher percent, was the aggressor, and broke Shannon Briggs’ nose. Thus, the fallacy of boxing. The George of the golden era was different. This George was the prototype for Shannon Briggs. He was a plodding, forward marching mauler who threw every shot with fight ending intentions. He was also proven to show stamina issues in his fight with Muhammad Ali and the farcical five vs one contest he orchestrated in order to get a rematch with Muhammad Ali. George Foreman fought better punchers in Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, and Ron Lyle than what would have been available for Shannon Briggs, save Lennox Lewis. The difference here is that George actually defeated high caliber opposition legitimately where Shannon did not. He was left peeing blood after facing Vitali Klitschko. Darroll Wilson took Shannon Briggs out in three. George Foreman’s stamina wouldn’t get the chance to dwindle if he could catch Briggs. But of 6 losses, Briggs has only been finished twice. George Foreman was only stopped by Muhammad Ali. Shannon Briggs is also considerably bigger than heavyweights of the golden era. George Foreman would not have a size advantage. Actually he would be 30 lbs lighter than Briggs. Because of Briggs ability to withstand brutal beatings and make it to the end of the bell, and Young George Foreman’s issues with stamina and not displaying ring intelligence to change a self damaging style in losses to Ali and Jimmy Young, Shannon should get to the judges and win.
Shannon Briggs wins by unanimous decision.
Vs. Muhammad Ali: This is a fight where none of Shannon’s advantages enter. He is more powerful for sure, but he has to deal with an elusive counter punchers with an amazing chin. Even if he hits Ali, he won’t knock him out. As the fight goes on and Shannon Briggs is expending energy by punching either a moving Ali or the rope a dope magician, he will become fatigued. Fatigue is how Ali felled Foreman. It is how he would get Briggs. Shannon would be up on the cards due to work. Still wanting a finish, he would deplete himself of energy allowing Ali to put together some fight ending blows. Ali would be able to take Shannon’s power as his only stoppage loss came against Larry Holmes, at age 38, fresh out of retirement and riddled with Parkinson’s.
Muhammad Ali wins in rounds 9-11
Vs. Leon Spinks: Leon has 14ko’s in 46 fights. Shannon has 38 KO’s in the first round. At 6’4 to Leon’s 6’1 and 30 lbs heavier Briggs would face no repudiation in his onslaught. 9 of Leon’s 17 losses were by knockout.
Shannon Briggs wins via know in Round 1
Vs. Kenny Norton: Norton was a tall, elusive defensive trap minded fighter. He would employ a cross arm block and tuck his head to avoid damage. Characteristically shy of power punchers, Shannon’s initial flurries would trouble Norton. Norton would land counters, but he is getting hot. Power is Norton’s enemy. Gerry Cooney, Earnie Shavers, George Foreman, and Jose Luis Garcia proved that. Of Norton’s 7 losses, 4 are by knockout. When Norton is hurt, he loses and he does so early.
Shannon Briggs wins via knockout in round one.
Vs. Larry Holmes: A tall powerful, mean spirited technician with secret aspirations of being Hulk Hogan ( Google Larry Holmes and legdrop) versus a tall mean spirited brawler who sees himself as the final form of Mike Tyson. Shannon Briggs power would pose a significant problem. Earnie Shavers floored Larry Holmes. However, Larry Holmes possessed a jab like a right hand and he could get up from punishment. The man once on pace to eclipse the cherished record of Rocky Marciano, Larry Holmes got up from shavers. He overcame Norton. So he is a warrior and he can be a technician. Shannon Briggs never got up from the canvas to win. Either he bulldozes his opponent, or he takes a beating from a technically superior fighter. See Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko. Jabs and straight punches are the perfect intercept for Shannon exaggerated hooks.. Larry Holmes we excelled with these weapons.
Larry Holmes via late stoppage.
Much like his actual career, Shannon Briggs would be remembered as a good but inconsistent fighter. He would beat the average and scrubs, but fall short to the upper echelon of fighters. Boxers who can punch and take punches would outlast him and take advantage of stamina issues to expose at batter him. However, Shannon Briggs 88?3 percentage knockout to win ratio means that you have to be the best of the best to not get starched. And most of the time, if he gets the big fight, he can leave with a Brooklyn crowd screaming, “ Let’s go Champ!”