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Wladimir Klitschko vs Briggs? Learn from 'Big' George Foreman, Shannon

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is not impressed with Briggs' antics and apparently refuses to give the comebacking 43 year old a title shot at this moment.

However, a title shot is not out of reach for the charismatic Briggs. He has heavy hands and generates widespread interest, positive and negative.

Before Briggs and his outside-the-ring theatrics fall out of public conciousness, Shannon should, at the very least, defeat a Top 20 contender or a fighter with a formidable name in order to be considered among more deserving title-seekers.

How about Briggs versus Chris Arreola, Bermane Stiverne, Steve Cunningham or Odlanier Solis to name a few?

Even Shannon Briggs vs Tony Thompson would be curiously interesting. How about a scrap with David Price in the UK? Would Anthony Joshua risk it all against the  Shannon 'the Cannon?'

Defeating journeymen no one has ever heard of, even if via brutal first round knockouts, simply won't garner tremendous respect from the boxing community.

Let's cycle back to the early 1990s. George Foreman ended his ten year hiatus in 1987 and was incessently ridiculed by the boxing community and mainstream sports fans upon his return to the ring.

"He's a farce," the media chanted. "This fat guy is nothing but a circus sideshow."

But Foreman would have the last laugh... He fought twenty (20) times before getting a shot at lineal heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in 1991.  And while 'Big George' fought journeyman and woefully outgunned opponents early on, he, unbeknownst to many back then, was slowly and deliberately increasing his level of opposition as he climbed the heavyweight ratings.

By the time he stepped in the ring with Evander, George was 20-0, 19 KOs on his comeback and had engineered knockout wins over Gerry Conney, Adilson Rodrigues and Bert Cooper, three legitimate Top 20 heavyweights.

As a matter of fact, the Cooney fight, affectionately dubbed 'Geezers at Caesars,' was broadcast on PPV and proved to be one of the most bantered match-ups of 1990.

George was 42 but proved he was more than a sideshow. He showed the world he was a serious threat to any heavyweight, including Mike Tyson.

Now, Shannon Briggs must do the same. He must back up his swagger... in the ring.

If Briggs dispatches just one legitimate Top 20 contender, he'll raise many eyebrows, including Wlad's, and that alone may be enough to warrant serious consideration for a title tilt.

Wladimir Klitschko faces undefeated Bryant Jennings in April.


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