Sat, Jun 02, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Briggs aims to show that he's the main man

AP , NEW YORK

Shannon Briggs is the heavyweight champion of the world. Well, the WBO's version of the champ, and one of four titleholders in what usually is considered boxing's prestige division.

Briggs knows how to end all the uncertainty about which fighter is the best of those champions. He plans to show everyone tonight in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that he is the main man.

He plans to do it quickly, too, against Sultan Ibragimov of Russia, a 2000 Olympic silver medalist who is unbeaten (20-0-1) as a professional.

"I'm going to take him out," Briggs said during the buildup for his first title defense, at Boardwalk Hall.

"I'm a vicious puncher. Like me or love me or hate me, I am a vicious puncher. When I hit this kid, he's going to wish he had never seen gloves," he said.

Ibragimov, who has 17 knockouts in his record, said, "I am ready for this fight and I am ready to win this title for myself and for my people in Russia," he said. "There has been enough talk already and it is time now to fight."

The 35-year-old Briggs heartily will endorse that concept.

"Winning the WBO championship has been a roller-coaster ride I am going to continue on," Briggs said. "I love it. I am refocused, rededicated. I am an emotional fighter. When I hear the bell, I turn into a beast."

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