Open Letter.


Dear Shannon Briggs;

Congratulations on your last-second knock-out of Sergei Lyakhovich, who is a much nicer guy than you, being from Belarus, and all. You almost blew it, didn’t you? You’re a fourteen-year veteran with 41 KOs in 47 fights. Even at 34 years of age, you’ve perhaps got the fastest hands in the heavyweight division. Your jab is like a fucking pile driver, and you are an absolute monster of a muscled beast at 268 pounds, without an ounce of fat on you. Why didn’t you do anything for 35.75 minutes before you finally put this guy through the ropes? You’ve constantly been branded as an underachiever inside the ring by the boxing media, and I’ve always defended you until now. You have the raw talent, athleticism, and boisterous personality to be a serious force in the sport, and you’re always talking about how Brooklyn breeds the best fighters in the world. Well, Mr. Briggs, Brooklyn also appears to breed the least reliable fighters in the world, if Zab Judah, Mike Tyson, and yourself are any indications. Everyone’s making a big deal that all four heavyweight belt holders are white guys from the former Soviet Union, and now you’re the first American to get a small piece of the title – your first opportunity in eight years since the Lennox debacle. Don’t tell me that it was your promoters’ fault, man. You’ve shown not an ounce of passion in the ring. We were just not convinced that you really wanted it. And even though you’ve won tonight, I can guarantee that we’re still not. Now, forgive me if this is simply the case of your childhood asthma issues cropping up again, but come on. Get yourself into an endurance program or something. The guy who you just beat was nothing special, other than his very attractive wife and his immensely huge heart. Oh, his flabby teats were something special, too. Yet he was beating you cleanly on points when you got lucky enough to knock him onto the judge’s table in the last second of the entire fight. Yes, that’s right: at 2:59 of round 12. WTF, Shannon? Everytime you touched him, you hurt him. You’re a force, brother. Your counters are unbelievably fluid! That jab is a work of art! You could be the next linear heavyweight champion of the world if you just applied yourself! I mean, the current division is a sump in which all of the most boring and talentless fighters in the history of the sport have been dog-paddling, but you get my drift. I must say, however: as proud as I am to see you jubilant and high after this win, if you stand in front of anybody with a modicum of more talent than this guy – Klitschko, Toney, Peter, or that circus freak, Valuev – and just sit there like an armless wonder, you’re done for. So my advice to you, Shannon Briggs, if you’re good enough to take it: make this reign last for a while. Throw some goddamned punches for us. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

P.S. Please don’t kick my ass.

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