I have scoured the internets, pored over all the message boards out there, and my computer has contracted a dozen nasty viruses as Ive attempted to find someone who thinks Shannon Briggs will take down Vitali Klitschko in Hamburg on Saturday night.
All those viruses for nothing.
But maybe someone from TSS Universe is thinking the soon-to-be 39 year old Briggs, a good 15 years past the time when he was on the short list as heir apparent to the next great American heavyweight title, will do the improbable, and have his hand raised in Hamburg.
My man Johnny Bos does give Briggs something of a chance, though he refuses to go on the record with a percentage chance of a Briggs upset. Never seen him hit a guy and not hurt him, said Bos of the Brooklyn native, who did so well to rise up from a broken home, and homelessness. I dont think Klitschko is what he once was. I think hes become a one-handed fighter, with that left jab. He left, in 2003 after losing to Lewis, and now he doesnt get the same power in his right. Look at how many rounds everyone goes in the last several fights, last five fights. He beat up Sam Peter, but his brother knocked him out, and basically so did Jameel McCline. I give him a shot at hitting him on the chin. He still got power, hes carried his power better than most have as he got older. Like Tyson, he didnt carry it. Also, remember the first three rounds against Sosnowski, Vitali was getting hit with right hands. Then again, maybe Vitali wasnt worried about Sosnowski, and he will respect Shannons power.
When promoter Gerg Cohen told me that Briggs would come in the 240s, some of us gave the ex New Yorker a bit more of a chance to tap and topple Vitali. But when we learned he was 262, the chance dwindled. Vitali weighed 251 on Friday, right around he always weighs. The guy is consistency defined; no, hes not flashy. His brand of cautious pugilism, only slightly less methodical than his brothers, doesnt fire up the masses here in the States all that much. But he is damned effective, even if it is during one of the most, maybe THE most, grim heavyweight eras. I expect the jab to be in Briggs face from the anthems onward, and dont see him landing flush. He simply wont be able to weasel his way close enough to Vitali. At 240, thered be more of a chance. But at 262, Briggs wont have the needed mobility to get close enough to tag big bro meaningfully.
Thats how I see it. How bout youse?