39 year old Klitschko, 40-2 (38),will be mocked for facing an unworthy challenger.
Meanwhile, long shot, almost off the radarBriggs, 51-5-1 (45),is in a comfortableduke out driving seat with a wide open autobahn before him. The road in Northern Germany is said to hold many cultural treasures. Briggs, 38,willget away with some, win or lose.
Theres a lot more to it than that, as night in the surging global port of many calls calledHamburg will probably prove.
When Briggs announced from the WBC convention that he had a contract to meet Klitschko in October, it was hard to fathom that he had managed to ascend again to the threshold ofwhat was once, and could be again, one of the most storied positions in global sport. Then Klitschko made the alphabet all-star party and didnt deny the story though he remained mum, probably due to negotiations. Still, the drop in proposed opposition from Nikolai Valuev to Briggs seemed like more than in just Valuevs height.
Then again, considering that the Klitschkos have pretty much swept the division of all reasonable and willing contenders and the present day,admittedly sparse landscape of leather gloved leviathans it isnt theworst opponent K2 coulddesignate as their winter wunder. Its not unrealistic to see Briggs giving Valuev trouble, and not improbable that Briggs would have atacked Valuev more than a reluctant Britishbig boydid.
Besides, at least Briggs wants to fight. We wont mention so called contenders who turned their backs when reasonableopportunities arose while there are doubtless many gallantB, C, and D level sluggos in gymsaround the planet who would jump at the chanceto throw in the stratosphere of a Klitschko fight.
Briggs may have gotten his latest gig simply by stayingreasonably mobile andbeating afew of the aforementioned journeyman types but give him credit for consistently talking his way into both a probably very decent paycheckin not the kindest of mauling markets, anda punchers shot at anotherrainbows end.
The big question: Can Briggs still have the power to land the kind of shot that splattered immediately former WBOtopcatSergi Liakhovich through the strands at the Arizona Diamondbacks ballpark before a disappointing crowd that witnessed a dull no-hitter until Briggs lit the place upwith one of the wildestfinal second turnaround stoppages inboxing history? It would be an even better quiz if Briggs was facing Wladimir, the Klitschko brother with the perceived weaker chin.
Yes,Briggs probably still has the power, if judging from his arms, deltoids and back muscles means anything.
The bigger question: Will Briggs land such a shot?
That answer seems to be yes, if you listen to someprominent professional observers who declare the elder Klitschko brotherseems to be slipping in terms of fitness and finesse. It is actually pretty reasonable to calculate that Briggs will land something heavy sometime, if not a clean shot, somewhere. Klitschko will also have to beware cheap but effectivemind games of the type when Briggs accused Liakhovich of calling him n*****, then admitted it was a lie. Liakhovich was even more stunned from the racial BS than he was from Briggs punch.
Klitschko has been verbally abused by cruelly creative characters like Don King, James Toney, and David Haye. Briggs will have as much trouble psychingKlitschko out as he will walking him down.
I know Briggs is a big talker but hes also a big man in the ring, observed Klitschko at the initial press conference. Hes got a big punch and more fights on his record than me. I will be ready in my preparation.
Everybody that fights the Klitschkos (lately) has been scared to death. Im not scared, and Im putting pressure on him from the start, promised Briggs.
Have we heard that somewhere before?
The final conclusive clue query involves whatwill likely happen after Briggs lands a big bop.
Probably nothing much. Unless the landing frequency involves double figures.
A much faster, stronger Briggs couldnt dent George Foremans relatively ancient armorwhen Briggs captured a very questionable nod in the Grill tycoons happy swan song back in1997. Few people are as durable as Big George, but Vitali Klitschko just might be. Briggs is no weakling, having a decently long run himself.
To me, Klitschko looked very solid in his last fight against Albert Sosnowski, a stong, willing but limited opponent who came to fight anddropped a respectable if uninspiring 10th round TKO. In a hypothetical Briggs - Sosnowski tussle, recent form says the Sos-man. Unless of course Briggs lands that big hambone.
Therein folks, lies the fights selling point.
Briggs will look good on the fight poster and in the video ads, and hell talk a good, perhaps too outrageous game. The O2 Arena will be packedwith a fine fight crowd and other usually excellent entertainment. Abouthalf the TV sets within1000 kilometers will tune in. Short of a 1st round Klitschko KO, the US press willlampoon the K-bros and the heavyweights.
DoesBriggs have any chance ofwinning?
They call it a punchers chance.
In this case that chance is a lot slimmer than the meat on Mr. Briggs bicep.
Thefinal question will be whether or not Klitschkowill be able tostop Briggs without walking into an unpleasant dreamland himself.
That classic answer is the same as they said in a hotspot Hamburg backaround the times of a heavyweight champion named Sonny Liston andsomepreviously appearinghit makers namedThe Beatles.
Jah, jah, jah.
Who wins the WBO Middleweight title fight Dec. 19th?