Exclusive Interview: Scott Hirsch

By Brad Cooney


Exclusive Interview: Scott Hirsch

Boxingtalk hooked up with professional boxing manager, Scott Hirsch. Scott gives us an in depth update on his entire stable, starting with Heavyweight Contender Shannon Briggs. Hirsch talks about Shannon's big upcoming Heavyweight Title shot against current IBF/IBO Heavyweight Champion, WladimirKlitschko, which is scheduled for November 11th, at New York's Madison Square Garden.

BT - Scott let's start off by giving us an update on Shannon Briggs, have the contracts been signed yet ?

SH - The deal is done in principle, we are in the process literally as we are speaking. We are at the finish line though.

BT - When do you think this deal will be all locked up, and done ?

SH - Well I don't know the answer to that right now, but I would like to think that within the next 24hrs it will be a done deal. I imagine it will be fairly soon.

BT - Talk about Shannon Briggs Scott. Shannon has quite a story behind him.

SH - Shannon above all is a terrific guy, he's a loveable person. Shannon and I clicked from the moment we met, and his story is heart wrenching. Shannon's father died in prison, and his mother suffered through a number of things. Shannon slept in cars, building, subways, and he isn't bitter about it. You would expect someone that has gone through what Shannon has gone through for them to be bitter about it all. Shannon holds himself high, he's a people person, but I don't think he has forgotten where he came from. Shannon represents the average person out there,the person that has been through hard times, and struggles. When it comes to boxing I think Shannon is as talented, if not more talented than any one in the Heavyweight Division today. Shannon self admits that he had taken for granted his talent when he was younger, and hasn't put in the training that he should have. These things have changed now, Shannon has fought 6 times in the last year, and he's knocked out all of 6 opponents. Shannon has been impressing everyone, and I think he's ready to step up for this next fight.

BT - Scott, some of Shannon's critics say that he loses his stamina, and fades late in fights. You bring in Jeff Mayweather, probably the best trainer out there the people haven't heard of. Did you bring in Jeff Mayweather to help Shannon get deeper into fights ?

SH - I brought in Jeff for a couple of reasons. I think as far as stamina goes, that's something that Shannon needs to work on himself. I brought Jeff in to work on Shannon's defense, and I also brought Jeff in to work with Shannon on punching straighter, and to improve on his jab. I think that these two improvements will bode well in a Championship fight.

BT - There are a lot of people that are emailing me saying that Shannon Briggs has a real chance to win this fight Scott.

SH - We didn't take this fight to get one payday, or a crack at the Title, we took this fight to win the title. Shannon can re-write history, and correct some things from the past. This is an outstanding opportunity for Shannon, five of Wladimir's past opponents have put him down in the ring. I don't take nothing away from Wladimir, he's a great boxer, and he has earned the Championship. Wlad deserves what he has, but I think Shannon Briggs matches up very well against him. I don't see this fight going very long.

BT - Scott you think Shannon Briggs is going to knock out Wladimir Klitshcko ?

SH - Yes, absolutely. I truly believe within the first 5 rounds Shannon will knock him out.

BT - Scott, just to confirm, this fight will be at Madison Square Garden correct?

SH - Yes, it's at Madison Square Garden, the mecca of boxing. I was at the Peter vs Klitschko fight in Atlantic City, and I was amazed at how many Ukranian fans were in the crowd supporting Klitschko. Shannon is so popular in New York being from Brooklyn, I think this is going to be the hottest fight at the Garden in a long time, this is a big event.

BT - Scott Hirsch is calling all New Yorker's to come out to the Garden on November 11th to support the local guy in Shannon Briggs.

SH - Absolutely! I think that one other thing that Shannon brings to this fight is that he is a natural promoter. I have a few other fighters that I work with that you have to beg to get to say anything. With Shannon you have to beg him to stop talking (laughs).

BT - Scott, I can attest to that (laughs). Shannon is an easy interview because he loves to talk, makes my job easier.

SH - Shannon would do an interview a minute if we would let him (laughs). I think Shannon's ability to promote had to have come into the minds of Team Klitshcko. They probably realize that Shannon will work hard to sell this thing out.

BT - Scott, take a minute and talk about your other fighters.

SH - Well I have 3 other fighters, right now my mind is totally on Shannon Briggs because of this big shot we have with Klitschko. I have Jameel McCline, who was in a similar situation as Shannon when I first starting working with him.

BT - Jameel has Terry Smith next, no ?

SH - Yes, Jameel will be fighting Terry Smith on the 21st on ESPN in Oklahoma. This fight is a win or go home for Jameel, and he knows that. Jameel's career is on the line with this fight.

BT - Terry Smith is a tough fighter, he took Calvin Brock to the cards when he fought him.

SH - Yes he did, Terry Smith is tough. In Jameel's case we knew that he had to take, and win some tough fights to win back the crowd. If Jameel wins this fight against Terry Smith, I think you will see him back in the rankings, and lined up for some big fights again. Jameel knows that if he doesn't win this fight that it's basically over. I am extremely confident that not only will Jameel win the fight, but he'll knock him out very impressively.

BT - Shannon always stays in the gym, but when will camp start officially for Shannon Briggs ?

SH - Shannon is in the gym, he's working on basic conditioning right now. When we go into camp in September we want him to be in shape. Shannon        has always admitted that he hasn't always been in the best shape. Shannon will be in the best shape of his life for Klitschko, so he's working every day on conditioning, and he's in the boxing gym every other day. Shannon is trying to get himself into good shape before camp, so that when camp starts he can get into great shape. I have a few other fighters I want to talk about, I have Eliseo Castillo who's the NABO Cruiserweight Champion. Castillo has a crossroads fight coming up against Emanuel Stewards fighter, Johnathan Banks. They will be fighting on the 26th in New York. David Tua is also on that card as well. Eliseo Castillo is the best fighter in that division, bar-none! Nobody will beat him in that division.

BT - When do you see Castillo being in line for his title shot ?

SH - I think sometime this year Eliseo Castillo will be fighting for a title. I think this fight against Banks is a good fight for Castillo to show everybody just how good he is, Banks is one of the top 5 fighters in the division. If he beats Banks, we'll go for one of the top fighters in the division.

BT - Back on Shannon Briggs for a minute, when you guys start camp I am guessing you will be looking for really big sparring partners for him, no ?

SH - Absolutely, we'll probably spar Shannon with Ray Austin, Zuri Lawrence, and Jameel McCline.

BT - I think Big Jameel would be a good guy for Shannon to spar with for Klitschko being he's so big.

SH - Yes he would be, they have sparred before, and they are friends outside of the ring. I think that Jameel McCline, Ray Austin, and Zuri Lawrence together with Shannon Briggs makes a really nice camp there, and then Jeff Mayweather as well.

BT - Jeff Mayweather is a class act, and told me that he was very flattered that you invited him to come on board the Briggs team.

SH - Yes, Jeff is simply put just a good, good guy. A lot of the time when you look at teams, it's character that wins. Jeff Mayweather is a man of character, and he brings that to this team.

BT - Shannon Briggs told me that what he loves about Jeff the most is the positive vibes, and energy that Jeff brings to the camp.

SH - Absolutely, he's extremely positive, and he's real. Jeff is a caring man, and he puts in a hard day. Jeff is training Ray Austin, he's training Shannon        Briggs, he's training J.D. Chapman. Jeff is the best trainer that nobody talks about.

BT - Scott is there anything that you would like to say in closing ?

SH - I want to thank all of Shannon's supporters, I don't know how they find him, but man he gets a lot of emails.

BT - Scott, Shannon has a Mypace web-site (laughs)

SH - (Laughs) Ahh, so that's how they are finding him (laughs). That's it, that's how they are finding him. I get personal mail from different countries supporting Shannon, and even postal mail. Shannon is living the dream, and he's going to do this not only for himself, but for all of his friends fans, and supporters.

BT - Scott, nice talking to you I look forward to a follow up.

SH - I want you to know that I am an avid reader of Boxingtalk, it's the first boxing site that I go to in the morning. Thanks for having me.


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