Shannon Briggs: Comeback starts Sunday

Lee Cleveland Updated
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This Sunday on an Atlanta fight card billed 'Pain and Pleasure,' former heavyweight title holder Shannon Briggs (54-6-1, 45 KOs) will make his return to boxing after a three year hiatus. Briggs, 42, will face Cuban journeyman Rafael Pedro (21-10-1, 15 KOs) in a rematch of their 2010 bout won by Shannon via a Round 1 knockout.

When we last saw Briggs in the ring on October 16, 2010, he was thoroughly beaten-up by then-WBC Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko.

And while Shannon survived without being knocked out, he paid a heavy price in doing so. After the bout, he was taken to the hospital with a broken left orbital bone, a broken nose and a badly torn left bicep among other possible injuries.

Briggs enjoyed a successful amateur stint, becoming a New York City Golden Gloves champion, New York State Champion, and National P.A.L. Champion. In 1991, he finished second in the heavyweight division at the Pan American Games after losing to Cuban amateur legend Félix Savón.


A heavyweight oddity of sorts, Briggs won a majority decision over 48 year old, then-lineal heavyweight champion George Foreman in 1997 in what is still considered one of the biggest high-profile robberies in the history of the sport.

In his following bout, Briggs rocked then-WBC Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis in the early rounds before being systematically taken apart and subsequently knocked out in five.

Shannon gained a bit of redemption in 2006 by dramatically winning the WBO heavyweight title, stopping Siarhei Liakhovich in the final three seconds of the contest. He would lose this belt to Sultan Ibragimov the following year.

Briggs, who ballooned after his retirement, appears to have shed a lot of weight in preparation for this bout.

If Briggs, who is the last American to own a share of the heavyweight title, is impressive Sunday, who should he next fight? 

Shannon Briggs Comeback Video
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