Shannon Briggs vs. Alexander Dimitrenko on May 21
By Scott Gilfoid: 44-year-old WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs (59-6-1, 52 KOs) will supposedly be facing 33-year-old Ukrainian Alexander Dimitrenko (38-2, 24 KOs) on May 21 on the undercard of David Haye’s next fight against Arnold Gjergjaj (29-0, 21 KOs) at the O2 Arena in London, UK.
Fightnews.com says Briggs told them that he’ll be fighting Dimitrenko on the card on May 21. This is going to be a tough fight for Briggs if this match-up turns out to be true, because Briggs is pretty old and hasn’t fought a live body in six years since his one-sided loss to Vitali Klitschko in 2010.
Dimitrenko is a very flawed heavyweight, as many people have seen, but he’s still not an easy out for someone as old as Briggs. Dimitrenko has only been beaten twice in his career in defeats to Eddie Chambers and Kubrat Pulev. Those guys weren’t old when they beat Dimitrenko.
Chambers fully outclassed and exposed Dimitrenko years ago on his own home turf
Briggs needs to beat Dimitrenko – or whomever he winds up facing on 5/21 – in order to get a fight against Haye later this year. If Briggs loses to Dimitrenko, then he can forget about a nice payday fight against Haye. I’m just wondering who’s idea it was for Briggs to fight Dimitrenko? Whoever came up with the decision for him to fight the 6’7” fighter, they’re doing him no favors by putting such a big obstacle in front of him.
To be sure, Dimitrenko is a 2nd tier fighter whose career has never really panned out, but he’s young, huge, and he might be able to pick the slow-moving Briggs apart from the distance. If you look at Briggs’ eight fights since making his comeback in 2014, he’s fighting 3rd tier opposition without any skills.
None of the guys that Briggs has fought has had any talent at all. As such, Briggs has been able to go out there and land simple body shots to score 1st round knockouts repeatedly. Of Briggs’ eight fights in his comeback, he’s knocked out six of his opponents in the 1st round.
That’s not because Briggs has suddenly discovered the fountain of youth and gotten younger since he was trounced by Vitali Klitschko in 2010. It’s because Briggs is facing awful opposition. Now if you throw Briggs in the ring with a guy like Dimitrenko, then all bets are off.
If he can’t take Dimitrenko out with one of his body shots like he’s been doing against his fodder opposition he’s been routinely facing, then I think this could wind up being a very, very hard fight for the aging heavyweight. If Haye was the one that selected Dimitrenko for Briggs, then he put him in a bad position to where he probably won’t be able to win the fight.
You can make a strong argument that Dimitrenko is a better fighter than Arnold Gjergjaj, the guy that Haye is fighting on the card. I rate Dimitrenko as a lot better heavyweight than Gjergjaj, but I guess that’s why Haye is fighting him. If he fought a decent 2nd tier heavyweight like Dimitrenko, he might have flash backs to his one-sided loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2011. Haye was easily beaten by Wladimir in that fight. Dimitrenko has the size and basic fighting style as Wladimir, but without the power.
I think Briggs should veto the idea of him fighting Dimitrenko and instead facing a softer opponent that gives him a better chance to win. It’s not a good idea for Briggs to go from fighting 3rd tier fodder to fighting a solid B-level fighter like Dimitrinko overnight.
I don’t know how badly Haye is interested in fighting Briggs, but if he wants to get him off his back, then this is an excellent way of doing it. I honestly don’t think Briggs can beat Dimitrenko at this point in his career.
Yeah, Dimitrenko looked like heck in posing to Pulev in 2012, but that’s a top tier heavyweight and you can’t blame him for losing that fight. But if you throw a B or C-level heavyweight in with Dimitrenko, he’s going to win nine times out of ten. I think Dimitrenko would beat David Price and give Dereck Chisora a real run for his money. That’s why it’s unfair for Briggs to have to fight Dimitrenko. I’m in favor of Briggs fighting someone like Zoltan Csala or Ivica Perkovic. Those are perfectly reasonable opponents for Briggs to fight in order to earn the Haye fight.
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