The year was 1998. The search engine Google was incorporated as a private company in Menlo Park, California by Larry Page and Sergey Brin during this year. Bill Clinton denied he had “sexual relations” with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, starting the Lewinsky scandal and investigations and boxing’s heavyweight division was still on fire.
A young Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs was fresh over four stoppage wins en route to facing George Foreman for the lineal heavyweight championship the year prior. Briggs would defeat Foreman and send him into a second and permanent retirement via a controversial majority decision win.
It set up an epic fight that would cement British heavyweight juggernaut Lennox Lewis and Briggs both as hard-as-nails fighters willing to go toe-to-toe in the pursuit of greatness. Lewis had just avenged his loss four years earlier to Oliver McCall recapturing the then-vacant coveted green belt; the WBC title. After knocking out Andrew Golota in the first round in Atlantic City, Lewis set his sights on the young Shannon, who after defeating Foreman was on a quest to retire yet another legend.
NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED ** Follow me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jeffjacksonbestboxing/ Support me on Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/jeffjacksonboxing Highlights of the fight between Lennox Lewis and Shannon Briggs. March 28th, 1998. Billed as “March Badness” Lennox “The Lion” Lewis takes on Shannon “The Canon” Briggs, as Lewis defends his WBC Heavyweight title for the third time.
Lewis, however, had another plan and was resulted from the clash was an epic five rounds of action billed as “March Badness” that is still classic twenty years later.
Almost immediately in the first round after an early onslaught by Lewis, Briggs caught Lewis with a left hook which sent Lewis scrambling backward to stay on wobbly legs and a spry Briggs unleashed a barrage of straight rights, lefts and his signature body shots into the guard of Lewis.
Round two, Lewis came back showcasing his hard overhand right that rocked Briggs but sparked the obligatory head shake to alert the crowd that he wasn’t dazed. Briggs stayed vigilant and caught Lewis with hard left hooks and maintained his pelting of the body with crushing blows. After another two rounds of back and forth, the fifth and final round decided the match.
Date March 28, 1998 Location Covention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey Title(s) on the line WBC/Lineal Heavyweight Championships
In the fifth round, Lewis knocked Briggs down for the third time with a powerful right hook at 1:09 into the round. Briggs laid flat on his back for five seconds but got back up at the count of eight and continued with the fight. After Briggs collapsed to the mat following a missed left hook, referee Frank Cappuccino stopped the fight and awarded Lewis the victory by technical knockout.
With all the hype around Anthony Joshua’s bout against Joseph Parker in the U.K. this weekend, respect the architect of the British heavyweight icon legacy, Lennox Lewis and the future creator of “Let’s Go Champ” Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs.