Briggs post fight comments!
November 8, 2006
By Chad Barcus
Photo: Max Simbron
“This is Hollywood. You can’t beat that with an egg beater,” said Don King referring to the dramatic ending of the main event of “RED NOVEMBER” when Shannon Briggs knocked Sergei Liakhovich through the ropes in the final seconds of the twelfth round to capture the WBO heavyweight championship this past Saturday.
Going into that final round, Liakhovich was ahead by the scores of 106-103 twice and 105-104.
“I thought it was a close fight,” commented the former champion.
Briggs said, “I didn’t really think he was winning because I felt he was just bouncing around. He wasn’t doing much, but my corner was getting on me and in the twelfth round. Chuck McGregor gave me a tongue lashing.”
“He was like, ‘You son of a bitch. You better get your ass out there. You’re losing it and your life is going to be summed up in this thing tonight,’ and he was right and I put it on the line, man. The kid was tough.”
With 26 seconds remaining, Briggs floored Liakhovich with a powerful right-left combination to the head. The dazed champion rose from the canvas and held on to the ropes to catch his breath. Seconds later, Briggs landed a punishing right hand to Liakhovich’s head that sent him crashing through the ropes. Referee Bobby Ferrara stopped the contest with one second remaining.
Both fighters gained each other’s respect after the fight. Briggs admitted, “He was a tough kid. I hit him with some big shots early that would have knocked the average guy out.”
Liakhovich said, “I don’t take from him anything you know. He caught me. He can punch.”
Briggs conveyed that he could have been in better shape for this fight and he said, “I got tired. I’ll be honest with you. I was exhausted. I tried to get him out of there the first round and that’s my thing. I’m into that.”
Briggs, who struggled for breath throughout the match due to asthma, was tired but fulfilled.
The newly crowned champion remarked, “I did it. I said I was going to bring a belt back to America and I did that… My life has been up and down, man, and at least I can go to my grave saying I did something with it.”
Both fighters cleared the air after the fight although they had appeared to have genuine contempt for each other before the fight.
Briggs explained that, “I was just (messing) with him man. I really don’t have no beef with this dude. I like him. I’m a big fan of his. It was all hype. I had one thing in mind, to get under his skin.”
Leading up to the fight, Briggs had said that he heard through somebody that Liakhovich had referred to him with a racial slur. After the fight Liakhovich attempted to make clear that he would never say such a thing.
Liakhovich began to plead, “What everybody heard about…Everybody knows…,” when Briggs interrupted, “I made it up. We know that. We made it up.”
Briggs said that he wants to unify the titles now that he has won a belt but Ivaylo Gotzev, the manager of Liakhovich, brought up the subject of a rematch.
Gotzev pondered, “You guys in a rematch would be a terrific fight, you know…,” but Briggs interrupted him and set the record straight.
“It aint gonna happen…This is the toughest Russian in the world. The other Russians can’t fight. Why you want to do that to me?” asked Briggs.
Juan Diaz also made an appearance at the post fight press conference after he successfully defended his WBA lightweight championship. He kept his message short and sweet.
He said, “I have officially challenged all the lightweights in the division. That’s my future goal now, is to go after another champion and unify the division…I think that a true champion becomes a true champion when he tries to unify the division and that’s my goal.”
Even though he started slowly, Diaz connected consistently with crunching body shots and left jabs. The WBA champion won 10 out of 12 rounds on two of the scorecards and eight of 12 on the other. Additionally, Angulo had a point taken away in the sixth round for holding.