Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shannon Briggs Commentator Interview

Last Friday(5/16/08) night, Shannon Briggs showcased himself as a commentator on ESPN. Many boxing forums gave high praises to his commentating that night, and this is an interview I found of Shannon Briggs by Scoop Malinowski from the Boxinginsider.com site that discusses his good work:

Q: You are getting very positive reviews for your fine job commentating last Friday night in Las Vegas. Were you satisfied with how it went?

Briggs: Very satisfied and very appreciative to the ESPN network. When Rob Beiner the producer called me the week before the show, I was half asleep so I had to call him back and ask him was he serious a few hours later. I thought I was dreaming

Q: Was that your first time as a live color commentator for a major network?

Briggs: Yes it was my first time on a major network. I've been fortunate to have done it for Cedric Kushner's Thunder Box series a few years back thanks to Greg Cohen and Jim Delorenzo as well as for my boy Scott Wagner over at Ballroom boxing in Baltimore Maryland.

Q: How is Brian Kenny to work with? He is very well-liked in boxing and seems like one of the best in the business and works well with anyone TV talent, whether at ringside or in the studio.

Briggs: I'm well convinced that Brian Kenny is the best in the business by far. No one speaks with more clarity than Brian and no one does there homework like him. What really amazes me how he's such an improviser and can at a moments notice come up with great boxing analogies. I'd also say his number one contender is the Colonel Bob Sheridan. He's my number two guy in the bid-ness [smiles].

Q: Some people said that they really liked how your natural honest personality came out, rather than sometimes your agendas as a competitive heavyweight boxer which sometimes clouds your objectivity. And annoys some boxing fans. Your comment?

Briggs: Naturally as I should I do believe I'm better than most if not all of today's heavyweights. That was not always the case Scoop. It took years for me to develop the confidence that I have now, years of training and learning how to train. What worked for me as a fighter, not just go to the gym hit the bag, spar, jump rope, eat right go home. I was born with asthma and never made a football, baseball, basketball team or had a childhood that permitted me to run and play like the other children. I've been sick my entire life, going to school and finishing was something that never happened because year after year I was sick. Look dude, six million kids in America have asthma. 54 million adults and 300 million people worldwide, it's not a joke, so me becoming a heavyweight champion and the first with asthma in the history of the sport is a major accomplishment not just to me but to those who like myself are handicapped, like Sam Peter recently called me [laughs]. In answering your question I love boxing and I'll always try to talk positive about every fighter. We need to embrace our fighters like other sports embrace their athletes. Whether a guy is great or he sucks major we need to respect him because any man or woman that goes through those ropes are true warriors. It takes courage.

Q: What the heck do you think happened to Chris Byrd? He was such a great fighter not long ago, on Friday he was like a ghost of himself.

Briggs: I think the weight loss took a lot of starch out of him. That much weight is going to hurt any fighter. He looked great but you could see that the pop wasn't there. Chris is guy who had many fights amateur and pro, I believe had he stayed at heavyweight Chris would have beat a lot of top fifteen guys but again he probably has seen his best days come and go. I could only dream that I had his success inside the ring. He beat the best available to him at the time. Hall of fame or bust.

Q: Is Shaun George the real deal as a light heavyweight? Is he as impressive and sharp as he looked on TV - or was Byrd just totally empty?

Briggs: Shaun George is the truth, the truth and nothing but the truth. Sheeesh. All light heavyweights beware.

Q: Are you aware of the very positive comments and reviews of your commentating performance? What does it mean to you? As you have had a sort of love/hate relationship with boxing fans now you are getting a lot of love.

Briggs: Nah, Scoop my love for boxing goes well and beyond the negative fans. If you're a person that doesn't like Shannon Briggs as a fighter hey that's cool I respect your opinion. I don't per say care for message boards and writers that are hate filled and unqualified but that's the world of the internet. It's like the Dave Chappelle show when they said what if the internet was a place you could really go... you could imagine the crap that you would see. I love boxing I want to see everyone in the sport prosper and make the money other sports are making. Papered up baby!

Q: How did the folks at espn2 feel about your debut assignment? Can we expect to see you back at ringside in the near future?

Briggs: Overall it was a good response from the staff, family, friends and fans. Constructive criticism is the best thing you can get from someone looking from the outside in. I love when I'm critiqued because then I have to work on my bad points to become better. I myself know I could have done better so now if given the opportunity again I'm going to have my sword sharpened. When they need a fill-in if I'm available, I'm there. I have the bad habit of when I see a good shot yelling out WOW!!!, WHOA!!!!...DAAAAAAMN!!! And I almost yelled out COT-DAMN!! once on a big shot, but other than that I'll be okay.

I thought he did a good job myself, and I think ESPN should look to hire him again for commentating in the future.


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