Former lineal and WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KOs) has signed with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC), the promotion announced on social media Monday.
Briggs, 48, has fought some of the biggest names in boxing over the course of his near quarter-century-long career, including George Foreman, Lennox Lewis, Ray Mercer, and Vitali Klitschko, among others.
“The Cannon” spoke publically about the signing on his Instagram account, writing, “If I don’t break his face or his ribs it don’t count.” Briggs has popularized the hashtag “Let’s Go Champ” on social media, particularly his Instagram, which sports 341,000 followers.
Briggs’ 1997 victory over Foreman, a majority decision, earned him heavyweight boxing’s lineal title, a prestigious championship representing the continuation of the original title in the weight class, outside of sanctioning organizations.
Nine years later, Briggs once again captured a boxing title – this time an organized championship, the WBO title – by knocking Sergei Liakhovich out of the ring in the twelfth and final round.
Briggs lost his title in a lackluster fight with Sultan Ibragimov in his next bout, and he announced his retirement following the bout.
“The Cannon” continued to fight afterward, competing in various bouts from 2009-2010. A semi-formal retirement followed Briggs’ loss to Klitschko in 2010, but Briggs would return to the ring in 2014.
Briggs would fight and win nine times since 2014, including a six-win campaign in 2014 alone.
He has not competed professionally since 2016.
Briggs’ BKFC debut has yet to be announced, with neither an opponent, date, nor location specified just yet for the former boxing champion amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, former UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa (17-6) has floated an idea for a fight, replying to a fan’s comment, “Champ don’t wanna fight.”
Michael Fiedel is The Body Lock's deputy editor, a staff writer for FloCombat, and a Russell-Rice scholarship recipient at Vanderbilt University.