Haye wants Shannon Briggs for his undercard on 5/21
By Scott Gilfoid: Earlier on Wednesday, former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (27-2, 25 KOs) surprised the boxing world by announcing at his London press conference that he’ll be fighting little known Arnold Gjergjaj (29-0, 21 KOs) in his next fight on May 21 at the O2 Arena in London, England.
The selection of the 31-year-old Gjergjaj took the boxing world by surprise because the fans had thought that Haye would at least fight a fringe contender if not a top 10 fighter. But instead of facing someone good, Haye chose to pick out an opponent with a padded resume. Former heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs broke up the party today by busting into Haye’s press conference with Gjergjaj and confronting Haye about why he chose to fight Gjergjaj, who he says he’s never heard of, rather than fighting him.
Haye and Briggs had words, and Haye invited Briggs to fight on his undercard if he can pass a brain scan. Briggs doesn’t have a history of having brain issues, so it’s hard to understand where Haye was coming from by him repeatedly directing Briggs to first pass a brain scan.
The real issue was Briggs wanted to know why Haye chose an unknown fighter to fight in Gjergjaj rather than himself, and Haye didn’t have much to say when asked that question. It looked bad for Haye because he was literally stammering in trying to speak under the pressure from Briggs.
Here’s some of the conversation that took place between Haye and Briggs at today’s press conference in London:
Briggs: “Tell us why you’re fighting him [Gjergjaj], who we’ve never heard of instead of me. I came to your country for a fight. We need an answer. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m 44-years-old. Who’s he fighting? I’ve never heard of this guy. Who are you? I’ve been looking for you. You’ve been playing hide and seek.”
Haye: “Do you really think you can beat me or are you looking for a payday? You generally think you can beat me? This guy [Gjergjaj] is undefeated.”
Briggs: “He ain’t no undefeated/ We’ve never heard of him. I’ll knock him out right now. Let’s go champ. Tell your fans why you’re fighting him instead of me.”
Haye: “Shannon, if you pass your brain scan, then we’ll think about it. If you pass your brain scane and pass your medical, then well think about it. You’re 44-years-old.”
Briggs: “He’s scared of me, yeah. London, he’s scared of me. Don’t believe the hype. He’s a fraud. He came back; he says I’m looking for a payday. He’s looking for a payday. I’m ready t fight right now. I came to London looking for a fight. Look at me. I’m in top shape.”
Haye: “I’m fighting on May 21. Fight on my undercard. If you want to fight me, get your medical, fight on my undercard and if people are interested and people generally want to see it, then we can talk about it.”
Briggs: “You talk about the people; are you interested? That’s what I want to know.”
Haye: “I’ll fight whoever I need to fight.”
Briggs: “Then why you fighting him? You could fight me now. Whoever heard of this guy? Come on, man, where you got him from?”
Haye: “Get on my undercard, then we’ll talk. You need to pass your medical.”
Briggs: “I’ll fight on your undercard if you guarantee you’ll fight me next.”
Haye: “I can’t guarantee you’ll pass the brain scan.”
Briggs: “You better get your money back. He don’t want to fight. Get your refund now. He don’t want to fight nobody. If he wants to fight me, we’ll fight on May 21st, and I’ll fight on your undercard if you guarantee to fight me next. If you sign a contract saying if you beat this boy, I’ll fight on your undercard.”
Haye: “We’ll talk about it. If you win and pass your medial, we’ll talk about it.”
Briggs: “Get your money back. I’m down for May 21st, yall. As him why he ain’t fighting the real champ. London is mine. Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, they’re all frauds. I came here to prove it, an American. I’m Shannon the Cannon. I’m invading England and they ain’t doing nothing about it. They kicking me out of England. Why? Because I came over here starting static. I came in his press conference and he was looking stupid. Who is the dude? I never heard of the dude he’s fighting. Who is this? Come on, man. He’s coming up with some excuse about a brain scan. I had eight fights. I just fought at the Hard Rock six months ago. I passed every physical in the world. Everything. I’m in great shape. If he signs a contract saying if I fight on his undercard then he’ll fight me next, it’s a done deal. I ain’t leaving. I’m living in Birmingham. It’s his old neighborhood. He don’t want to see me. I feel good, stepping in another man’s country and letting him know. He’s up there shivering in his suit talking about ‘If you pass the brain scan.’ Man, get out of here with all that. You think I came over here not to pass the brain scan. Come on, man. Stop playing with all that.”
“This is obviously the biggest fight of my life and it is an opportunity I will not waste,” said Gjergjaj. “Fighting in a huge arena against a former world heavyweight champion is massive motivation for me and gives me a chance to prove my skills to the boxing world. I respect ‘The Hayemaker’ – he was a very good fighter 5 years ago – but his time is over and I’m coming to win. I’m warning David Haye that he should not underestimate me – I’m unbeaten and I intend to stay that way.”
I don’t think Haye has intention of fighting Briggs, whether he fights on his undercard or not. To be sure, if Briggs were to fight on his undercard on May 21, it might help bring in respectable ratings. But I don’t think for a second that Haye will then fight him in his next fight because Briggs is just flat out too big, too powerful, and just too good for the likes of Haye to agree to fight him. I think Haye is looking for a cash out fight against the likes of Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder. He’s not going to risk his hide fighting someone like Briggs.
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