Exclusive Interview: Paul "The Hurricane" Briggs

By G. Leon


Exclusive Interview: Paul "The Hurricane" Briggs

GL: Paul, can you tell those of us in America, who were unable to see your last fight against Stipe Drews, how everything went down? "It started off how I thought it would. Stipe was a hard guy to catch up with. He's very tall and he's a very good boxer with movement on his feet. He used his jab well and he was very evasive. After the first round I knew it was going to take some work with the body shots to slow him down. I was concentrating on banging my right hand to his liver. In the fifth round I busted his nose up good and once he realized he was bleeding his whole demeanor changed. I was able to get in on him a lot easier and I think by round six I caught him with a monster left hook that dropped him. He sort of got up and was complaining and I couldn't believe it. I was like, 'man you're in a fight what are you doing?' But all he was interested in doing at that point was coming in and hanging on, so I kept going after his stomach and then came over the top to drop him again. After he got up for the second time he didn't really want to be there anymore so he tried everything he could to try and get out of there."

"He hit me low three times and he was running in with his head blatantly at times. And then there was one point he tried choking me. I thought to myself, 'man this guy is gone' and at one point I wanted to take the gloves off and bite his face off but I decided to stay cool because I know he was falling to pieces because he was losing. For the rest of the fight he basically ran, but I was happy to the work under my belt. I showed that I have great power...all in all I was happy. This was my first performance with Jack and things went well, so I'm just stoked right now."

GL: Shortly after the fight your manager told me Drews was in control for those first four rounds. That didn't surprise you at all?

Paul Briggs: "It didn't at all. For the first four rounds I knew he was going to be hard to catch, light on his feet and moving. He is very tall with a long reach so he was able to slip out of the way a lot. He wasn't willing to get into exchanges so there wasn't a whole lot happening. After stinging him with that right hand he was very weary of my power and decided to keep it on the outside, but once I put my work in on the inside I just took control of the fight."

GL: We just posted the press release your people issued calling out Tarver and the WBC...

PB: "I've fought whoever the WBC placed in front of me for my last four fights. I haven't been hand picking my opponents and I've proven to them that I'd fight whomever they put in front of me as long as it leads to me fighting for the light heavyweight championship of the world. Everytime they've put someone in front of me, I've come out on top. I feel that I am a more than worthy opponent for Antonio Tarver. I think that he's got walk his talk now. He talked big about being their champion and respecting the laws of the WBC, and granting all worthy comers a crack at his title. I am now the legitimate #1 mandatory challenger to his crown and I just think he should give me the opportunity. He wouldn't be in the position he was in now if the WBC didn't support him, now all I want him to do is honor their rules."

GL: If you're Antonio Tarver the biggest fight at light heavyweight is still the rubber match with Jones. With that being said, if that fight, Tarver-Jones III can come to fruition by the end of the year, would you consider staying warm against someone else so long as your mandatory against the winner were due next? Or are you looking to get your mandatory enforced immediately, by any means necessary?

PB: "I feel like I've two opinions here. First and foremost, for the sport of boxing Antonio should defend against me because I am his mandatory. I think on too many occassions guys get left by the way-side because the champion is trying to chase big money. And when you become champion it's always your perogative to do that, but when you've got someone whose proven himself against four top ten contenders, he should give me my shot. And if he thinks he can beat me he shouldn't have any qualm about giving me my shot and then going on to Jones after he beats me.

"In saying that, I really want to fight both of them. I'd love to fight Tarver, beat him and then become the man to fight Roy. I've paid my dues here Greg and I'm not going to step aside and wait any longer."

GL: You're saying wait any longer. Is that because you feel the WBC might have already been playing games since you first thought the fight with Ruiz was going to be mandatory position you just had to defeat Drews to acquire?

PB: "Definitely! Otherwise I woud've fought Drews. I'm just a boxer doing whatever it takes to become the light heavyweight champion of the world.There's more to boxing and the light heavyweight division than Roy Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver. They're big names, but there's more to boxing than big names, and I know they've achieved great things in the sport, but they're not the sport. And that will be proven when I beat Antonio Tarver. Greg, I just want my crack at him.

GL: When are you hoping that your title fight takes place?

PB: "In a perfect world, he could have that December date so I'd love to do it then. I feel like I've paved my way to this position and right now there's nothing that's going to move Paul Briggs out of the way or out of the path of Antonio Tarver. No matter what he does I'm going to the man sitting there waiting. I want to beat the man who beat the man. I don't want anyone else and I don't want to take the easy road. I'm a warrior and I want to fight the best because that's what I've been working for and that's what this about."

GL: Coming into the Drews fight you predicted a KO, did it disappoint you that the fight didn't go the distance?

PB: "It didn't. Because any time you could get good rounds under your belt leading up to a title fight...and that was a frustrating fight Greg. I'm never going to have another fight like that in my life where you have a 6 foot 7 southpaw running for his life fighting scared and dirty. But it was a great fight for me because I showed I could keep my cool under any circumstances, regardless of what my opponent was doing to try and get out of there. I know I had the power and when it caught up to him it spoke for itself because he was completely different fighter, after he tasted my power he got on his bike."

GL: When do you expect to return to the States?

PB: "Next Wednesday. I'm coming in next Wednesday, I'll be taking my family to Disney World and spending time with them, so I'll take a week off...but after that it's back to the gym and back to work!"


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