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19 OCTOBER 2018


SecondsOut Team Pick Klitschko vs. Briggs

Briggs vs. Klitschko: Sumio Yamada/WBC
Briggs vs. Klitschko: Sumio Yamada/WBC

The champion has made an amazing comeback and impressive run in his late 30’s while the challenger is former linear undisputed boxing champion, but that hasn’t stopped SecondsOut’s team of fearless writers from making their confident picks for Saturday’s WBC heavyweight boxing world title match between Vitali Klitschko and Shannon Briggs at the O2 World Arena in Altona, Germany.

“This could be an exciting fight for two rounds, but unless Briggs lands a knockout punch early, Vitali will likely wear down the usually stamina-challenged Brooklyn native and win the bout via stoppage sometime in the middle rounds. Klitschko W.TKO.7.”
- Gregory Juckett, Content Editor - New York, USA

“The punching power of both boxers would suggest an early finish. But it is unlikely to be Vitali Klitschko on the canvas with the iron chin he possesses. It may be harsh to say Briggs is an unfulfilled talent. He was once the linear heavyweight champion of the world after defeating George Foreman in a controversial decision. The Brooklyn fighter could have done more, whether true or not, he often gave the impression of not being fully dedicated to his career. In this fight, Klitschko’s reach and power is the difference and he wins well. Klitschko W.KO.6.”
- Paul Upham, Content Editor - Sydney, Australia

“Shannon Briggs can hit, but he has to reach his target to score a knockout. The awkward, tall, yet somehow clever boxing Vitali has an uncanny ability to keep just out of harms way. I think the champion will do just that and catch a tiring Briggs late with a right. Klitschko W.KO.10.”
- Jerry Glick - Contributing Editor - New York City, USA

“Shannon Briggs has boxed four minutes and 27 seconds in the last three years against no-one of note. The Cannon does not deserve a shot. Klitschko thumps his tub in seven rounds. Klitschko W.KO.7.”
- Mark Butcher, Founding Editor - London, UK

“The only thing that makes the match a little bit interesting is that Briggs has a puncher’s chance. But the 90 per cent of the chances are on Vitali’s side. Size matters, and an accurate jab and a one-two can make things very easy. Klitschko W.TKO.5.”
- Juan Pablo Manfredi - Buenos Aires, Argentina

“Wherever the blame lays - asthma, mentality, or conditioning – Briggs could barely sustain his offensive momentum in his prime. Now here he is a decade later challenging Klitschko, who’s contrastingly staved off the decline that comes with age and is still going strong, literally and figuratively. Save for his last second (also literally!) KO against Liakhovich, a result which is unlikely to reoccur this time out, Briggs has never beaten a top shelf opponent. Saturday won’t turn out any different. Klitschko by late TKO. Klitschko W.TKO.late.”
- Sean Waisglass - Canada

“The last time Briggs went more than a round was 3 years ago and he was horrible doing it. It was not the first time we had seen him gassed, so it is hard to imagine that he could do much better at this level of competition. At best, Briggs will make several short valiant efforts to knock Klitschko’s block off during the course of the fight. Maybe he gets lucky and causes some damage, but the more likely scenario is that Klitschko will just slowly pummel him from the outside until he crumbles. Klitschko W.TKO.5.”
- John Lumpkin - Madison, Wisconsin, USA

“This fight is a farce. Shannon Briggs has done nothing to deserve consideration for a world title shot. His power has been vastly overrated for years. Sure, Briggs can KO a sacrificial lamb in stellar fashion, but he has never finished off a world class opponent outside of his bizarre win over Sergei Liakhovich in the most boring world title fight of the last twenty years. The White Wolf surrendered his title more than Briggs won it that night. Vitali is among the sturdiest of heavyweights in that last twenty years and he punches with the kind of authority that should end Briggs’ night before the championship rounds. Briggs’ bulk has slowed him down for most of his career by killing his stamina. Even on his most off night, Vitali wins this one by a mile. Vitali by knockout inside of eight. Klitschko W.KO.8.”
- Derek Bonnett - Connecticut, USA

“There is nothing in the history of either fighter that even suggests that this bout will end with anything other than a Klitschko victory. Briggs used his mouth more so than the recent KO binge on no-hopers to land this title shot. He has the power to hurt anyone, but Vitali has proven that he is not very easy to hit. Even if Klitschko suffers a relapse of the back injury that forced him to prematurely retire while entering the ring, he will still be the busier fighter, and settle for a decision. Klitschko W.KO.9.”
- Jason Pribila - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

“Shannon Briggs is a good fighter and I wouldn’t be surprised if he causes an upset against Klitschko the older. He has the knowledge and the experience. I am a big fan of the Klitschko brothers and they are a little bit better than most of the guys out there but the Cannon is different, he is wild, he is crazy and quite honestly I don’t think he is afraid of those two. It goes a little bit against common sense to bet against Vitali, I know, and I will probably be one of few who to do that but my gut feeling tells me Shannon can do it. He knocks Vitali out with a good punch and takes the belt back to America. A picture perfect left hook lands inside and drops the Ukrainian in the fifth. Briggs W.KO.5.”
- Teddy Stenmark - Sweden

“Vitali Klitschko will wear down Briggs and eventually knock him out. I would like to see Briggs attack more early on just so we can have an entertaining fight, otherwise it will go back to the usual jab and straight right. Much in this fight reminds me of Briggs against Lewis, I just hope Klitschko isn’t as conservative as Lewis was! Klitschko W.TKO.6.”
- Lwazi Ndzobongo - South Africa

“It’s so hard to pick against any Klitschko brothers against the older fighters (retreads) likes Briggs had the goods in the days but is lazy and never is in shape nor uses his skills to the best of his ability. Vitali on the other hand is in shape and takes fights seriously. He will keep Briggs at arms length with his jab, keeping Briggs off balance, wearing Briggs down. Does Briggs have a chance? All big punchers do but I don’t see him getting closer to Vitali to get in a one shot he needs. Vitali in 10. Klitschko W.TKO.10.”
- Andy Rivera - New Mexico, USA

“Expect to see Vitali Klitschko pound away from the outside as a cut, bruised and tired Shannon Briggs tries to rough his way inside for the first few rounds before succumbing to reality. Lines about a Briggs victory would be the stuff of science fiction novels or perhaps movie. Eight years ago, Briggs was dominated by Jameel McCline, a very limited big man and late comer to the sport. An older, slower, fatter Briggs will now face Vitali Klitschko, a boxer many galaxies removed from McCline’s level. Briggs is batting light years out of his league and not even the USS Enterprise will save him from the crushing fall back down to earth. Klitschko W.KO.”
- Amilcar Barnett - Benque Viejo, Cayo, Belize, Central America

“The search for worthy opponents continues for the Klitschko brothers. Vitali Klitschko, at 39 years old, still has yet to show his least enough to feel that there is a heavyweight out there (aside from younger brother) that poses a threat to the 6’7" Ukrainian. Shannon Briggs was once a threat in the heavyweight division. He seems very determined and even made this match-up a bit of a personal dispute. Briggs, although a year younger than Vitali, has probably seen his best days. I think Klitschko quickly wears down Briggs forcing a referee or corner stoppage. Klitschko W.TKO.6.”
- Derek Gionta - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

“Vitali Klitschko is still a pretty good Heavyweight with a deadly jab. He knows how to use it and has a stiff right hand that follows behind. Although he isn’t what he used to be, he’s still better than most fighters in a bad Heavyweight division. Shannon Briggs isn’t that impressive, even when he was in his prime. I think he continues to get title fights because he really looks the part...he’s huge, has an incredible physique, and has a lot of wins (against mostly journeyman fighters). But he’s lost almost every time he’s stepped up the competition and hasn’t beaten anyone significant recently to deserve this fight. I see Klitschko throwing jab after jab and maybe a few rights before Briggs is a beaten man in the late rounds. Klitschko W.TKO.10.”
- Tri Nguyen - Alexandria, Virginia, USA

“I pick Vitali by knockout. Briggs hasn’t been mixing in the type of company that would prepare him for this challenge and, at 39, he isn’t as explosive as he used to be either. Klitschko will use the wide stance, awkward jab and right crosses to sicken Briggs before the referee stops a one sided beat down. Briggs will blame his asthma and both Klitschko brothers will call out David Haye in the post fight interview. Klitschko W.TKO.6.”
- Tom Gray - Motherwell, Scotland, UK




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