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Briggs should have pressured Vitali more

By Jason Kim: Former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs took the wrong approach for his fight with WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko last Saturday night in Briggs’ failed attempt to capture Vitali’s title. Instead of going all out and risking getting knocked out early by putting massive amounts of pressure on Vitali, Briggs instead was content to take a partial approach to attacking Vitali.

You can’t do that with a fighter like Vitali, as Briggs has now found out. Had Briggs went after Vitali from the very start and never backed up for an instant, he likely would have been knocked very quickly or he would have run out of gas. However, Briggs at least would have had a small chance of knocking Vitali out by doing this, and he would have saved himself a massive amount of punishment in the process.

Briggs ended up with a torn left biceps, and fractured orbital bone under his left eye and a broken nose. It’s unknown how early Briggs tore his left biceps but my guess is the injury occurred in the 2nd half of the fight because Briggs was still throwing left hooks with authority until around the 7th or 8th rounds.

At that point, Briggs’ offense almost entirely disappeared altogether. He was for the most part a big oversized punching bag for the last five rounds. If you look at video of the fight, his left bicep looked bunched up by the 8th round. This is obviously why he wasn’t doing anything in the last part of the fight.

However, Briggs should have known that his only chance of beating Vitali was to go after him hard in the first three rounds and try to take his head off with every punch. It would have saved Briggs a lot of punishment and he may have gotten lucky and landed a huge punch that might have taken Vitali out.

I don’t know why Briggs was so hesitant to attack Vitali in an aggressive manner, because what he was doing wasn’t working and wasn’t going to work. I’d like to think that Briggs thought he could wear Vitali down and then go after him late in the fight. But that’s not what it looked like. Briggs just looked like he was there to survive for the full 12 rounds. He wasn’t putting the kind of pressure on Vitali that he needed to.

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