Early reports have WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitshcko considering American Shannon Briggs for his next bout.
Klitschko is coming off an easy TKO win over a game but highly overmatched Albert Sosnowski in May. Even at 38 years old, the elder Klitschko brother is considered at worst the second best heavyweight in the world with his brother Wladimir holding the #1 position.
Shannon Briggs, also 38, has scored 3 consecutive 1st round knockouts since launching his latest comeback last year. In his prime years wheen he took on the likes of George Foreman and Lennox in the late 90s, Briggs’ weight hovered around 230 pounds. Brigg’s last title-winning effort came in 2006 while weighing 268 pounds. He scored a comeback from behind 12th round TKO to defeat Sergie Liakhovich to win the WBO title. In his last fight in May, the Brooklyn native tipped the scales at 266 pounds in his first round TKO of Rob Calloway.
Although no date has been announced, the fight is expected to take place in Klitshcko’s native Germay.
ESPN and Showtime Results
Prior to last night, an undefeated and cocky Henry Lundy (18-1-1, 10 KOs) referred to his opponent John Molina (21-1, 17 KOs) as a “stupid fighter.” He was forced to eat those words in ESPN’s Friday Night Fights main event as Molina’s steady pressure earned him a dramatic 11th round TKO.
Early on, Molina was befuddled by Lunky quick counters and constant lateral movement. In the 8th Lundy’s confidence betrayed him when he lingered too long at mid-range to trade hooks. Molina crashed home a jolting right hook that snapped around his opponent’s neck. Lundy collapsed to the canvas, but made it up to his feet and finished the round while complaining that the vicious knockdown had only been a “slip.”
Molina couldn’t finish off Lundy that round, but he continued steady pressure and got another chance in the 11th. Perhaps due to fatigue, Lundy backpedaled and held on to the ropes with his left hand while attempting to trade hooks.
The results were disastrous.
Molina strafed Lundy with several flush, jarring hooks before the ref stepped in to warn Lundy not to hold the ropes. But the damage had already been done, and Molina quickly pinned Lundy to the ropes to rain down a fusillade of hooks. Lundy’s guard and body sagged as shots began to get in, and the referee called a halt to the bout with no initial protests from the dazed Henry Lundy.
Later, his corner could be heard audibly cursing the referee for what they deemed to be an early stoppage. But it was Lundy’s own glaring mistakes, not the referee’s, which sunk him this night.
Over on Showtime, aging welterweight Lanardo Tyner (24-3, 15 KOs) pulled a minor upset in a methodical beating of prospect Antwone Smith.
In another case of famous last words, Smith before the bout declared to Tyner that “you ain’t gonna break me.” Throughout the fight Tyner applied constant pressure, particularly damaging hooks to the body. Smith fought hard, but the momentum began to shift distinctly to Tyner by the middle rounds as Smith’s right eye began to swell badly. Tyner focused his attacks on the eye, and even threw in a headbutt or two that exacerbated the already fight-threatening swelling.
By the 9th Smith could not see out of the grostequely swollen right eye, and out of a clinch folded after receiving a hard left hook to the body. The referee didn’t jump in quickly enough and Smith’s knee wasn’t on the canvas, so Tyner delivered a left hook to the head for good measure.
Antwone Smith beat the count but meekly answered he couldn’t see when asked if wanted to continue, signaling the end of the fight.
The main event saw undefeated welterweight prospect Mike Jones (22-0, 18 KOs) overwhelm tough Irving Garcia (17-5, 8 KOs), who he stopped in the 5th round. Garcia was able to land on the upright Jones, but could not cope with the younger fighter’s fast hands, particularly his looping right and inside uppercuts.
Saturday Fight Schedule
Boxing fans get another card from the Showtime cable network today (July 10) with a double-header featuring Juan Manuel Lopez (28-0, 25 KOs) versus Bernabe Concepcion (28-3-1, 15 KOs) and Noninto Donaire (23-1, 15 KOs) against Hernan Marquez (27-1, 20 KOs).
Both bouts are serving as stay busy fights for the name fighters in Lopez and Donaire. Lopez is facing a more dangerous test in Concepion, who has solid power, has never been knocked out, and is hungry at 22 years old. But Lopez is much more versatile in his offense and possesss better power, which should lead him to a decisive victory.
Donaire continues to be saddled with lackluster matchups since his highlight-reel TKO of Vic Darchinyan 3 years ago. The opportunity to build Donaire’s name off that win has been squandered. Hopefully Donaire’s team will focus on getting him more marquee matchups in the future. Regarding this fight, Donaire is the superior boxer and should have no big issues with Marquez, who was out boxed in his last fight by Richie Mapranum (21-1-1).
The card begins tonight at 9PM EST.