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Added October 16th, 2010 by Ian

Vitali Klitschko vs Shannon Briggs WBC Heavyweight Title Preview

Most people think it’ll be a walk in the park for Vitali Klitschko of Ukraine when he defends his WBC Heavyweight Championship against American Shannon Briggs in Hamburg, Germany on Oct. 16.

While he’ll likely win, it might not be that easy. It just depends on which version of Briggs shows up. If it’s the one that got knocked out by Lennox Lewis in the fifth round back in it 1998 it might be a decent fight. Briggs gave as well as he took that night, but eventually got taken out by the much more skilled champion. Still, it was an entertaining fight and Briggs showed he had some decent power.

He also looked good when knocking out Ray Mercer and beating George Foreman by decision. Ironically one of Briggs’ worst performances came when he beat Siarhei Liakhovich to take the WBO Heavyweight Championship in 2006 as he virtually won it with a last-second knockout.

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Klitschko (40-2) has shown over the years that while he may be a bit robotic in the ring, he’s still very effective, especially when he snaps out his jab and follows it up with crushing right hands. It’ll be the fifth defence of the 39-year-old Klitschko’s title and he’s looking to add to his excellent record of 38 knockouts. Klitschko also looked good against Lewis in 2003 until his eye was ripped apart and the ref stopped the fight. But to be honest, he hasn’t really fought an elite fighter in his eight fights since then since then.

The 38-year-old challenger has a fine record of 51-5-1-1 with 45 knockouts, but he’s a huge underdog, and that’s fair. He hasn’t been very active over the last several years and when he beat Marcus McGee by a first round knockout last December the fight was changed to a no-decision as Briggs tested positive for having an illegal substance in his system. He has fought three times this year though, so should have gotten rid of the ring rust by now and won all three by first-round KO.

Klitschko vs Briggs Betting Odds and Predictions

Briggs should have some confidence going into this fight with his recent knockout wins, but he’s not going to outpoint the champion so has to stop him to take the title. The problem with Briggs is that he usually tires quickly. If he is going to catch the champ with a solid shot his best bet is to go for it early on. The longer the fight goes the better it looks for Klitschko. Either way, I see Klitschko snapping Briggs’ head back with some accurate and sharp shots and stopping him in the second half of the fight.

Sportsbook William Hill has the odds of a Klitschko win at 1/33 and a Briggs victory at 8/1. The odds of a draw are 40/1 and the odds of a Klitschko stoppage are 1/7.

 
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