Shannon Briggs vs. David Haye possible for May 21 at O2 Arena, London, UK
By Scott Gilfoid: 44-year-old former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs (59-6-1, 52 KOs) is a possibility for British heavyweight David Haye’s next fight on May 21 at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Haye says Briggs is one of four potential opponents he’s looking at for his next fight. Haye plans on announcing the fight the moment it’s finalized. It looks like he’s got a pretty good idea about who he wants to fight right now. There’s only 12 weeks to go before Haye’s fight, so he’s going to need to make an announcement soon if he wants to attract interest in his fight.
“There’s about four people in the pipeline at the moment,” Haye said to IFL TV about his next fight on May 21. When asked if Shannon Briggs is one of the possibilities for his next fight, Haye smiled and said “Maybe.” At the point, Haye didn’t say anything else.
Briggs hasn’t fought since stopping Michael Marrone in the 2nd round last year in September. It’s unclear if Briggs has an injury that has slowed him down in fighting or what. Briggs fought just twice in 2015 after fighting six times in 2014. He hasn’t fought at all in 2016. When you see a huge drop off in fights like that, you have to wonder whether Briggs has been nursing some kind of injury that has kept him out of the ring.
The World Boxing Association ranks Briggs #4 now despite the fact that he has not fought anyone remotely good since he started his comeback two years ago in 2014. This would be a calculated move on Haye’s part to fight Briggs, because he’s not much of a threat and is highly ranked.
Haye did the same thing in his recent comeback fight against little known previously ranked #10 WBA Mark De Mori last January. Like Briggs, De Mori had an inflated ranking with the WBA based off wins over fluff opposition. Like a surgeon, Haye picked out De Mori from the pack of fringe contenders and lined up a fight with him. The result was Haye knocking the over-matched De Mori out in one round.
Briggs had been hoping to get a title shot against former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. However, after Tyson Fury beat Wladimir recently, the possibility of a Klitschko-Briggs fight went out the window. All that hard work that Briggs put in with him calling Wladimir and showing up at places where he was at came to no good. Briggs is still ranked high with the WBA, but he is likely going to need to wait until he is the No.1 challenger with the WBA before he will get a crack at a title.
Briggs is probably going to want a good payday to fight Haye. If they could make that fight on Sky Box Office pay-per-view, then I could see Briggs getting a decent amount of cash for that fight. If not, then it might not be a big payday for Briggs.
If Briggs does not take the fight with Haye, he might wait until Luis Ortiz is the full WBA heavyweight champion before he gets a shot at a title. I could be wrong, but I do not think there would be any real money for Briggs if he were to face Ortiz. The big money likely will only come if Briggs fights someone like WBC champion Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Haye or potentially Anthony Joshua if he beats IBF champion Charles Martin. Unfortunately, I cannot see Joshua ever willingly choosing to fight Briggs. There is no reason for Joshua to take that fight because he is in a different lane than Briggs. Now if Briggs were ranked No.4 by the IBF, then that would put him on crash course with Joshua at some point.
Briggs can still punch. He might have enough to KO Haye if he can land one of his big right hands to the head. At 6’4″, 250lbs, Briggs would have a 25 pound weight and two inch height advantage over Haye. That would make it a potentially difficult fight for Haye to win. He would have to deal with all that size and punching power. Unlike De Mori, Briggs actually has experience fighting world class opposition. He’s not just some weight lifter that was given a top tier ranking. Briggs was a good fighter earlier in his career, and he appears to still have a lot of power.