Vitali Klitschko battered American challenger Shannon Briggs for 12 brutal rounds at the 02 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday night to retain his WBC heavyweight crown via unanimous decision.
There were no knockdowns but Klitschko’s dominance was such that the Ukrainian champion never lost a round and Briggs was saved by the bell at the end of the seventh round. The scores were 120-107 twice and 120-105.
Klitschko,41-2-(38), may have won every round convincingly but the champion had nothing but praise and respect for Briggs. "I am very surprised by how much(punishment) he took," Klitschko said after the fight. "He’s got a huge heart.
"I give him a lot of respect. I could not believe he was still standing after taking so many punches".
Briggs,51-6-1-(45), was equally respectful of Klitschko, stating: "I’ve fought George Foreman, I’ve fought Lennox Lewis and Vitali’s the best. He’s got incredibly fast hands.”
As Is usual with Klitschko, he used his left jab to good effect by setting up Briggs then rained in a couple of left hooks to the challenger’s head. Briggs tried to slow Vitali down by targeting the body in the second round but that only made Klitschko step up a gear by connecting with solid straight right hands to the head.
Briggs enjoyed a little more success in the third round by penetrating Klitscko’s guard with some accurate counter punching. That success was shortlived, however when Klitschko responded with a powerful right hook to end the round strongly.
The pattern of the fight was set early on, Briggs did connect with a number of combination punches but it was always the champion that responded with the heavier punches and finished the rounds in dominant fashion.
By the 10th round Briggs barely threw a punch as Klitschko rained in punch after punch as he pleased. The champion tried to finish the fight in the 12th and last round but Briggs, brave and determined as ever, managed to hear the final bell.
October 16, 2010