Even though he was already NABA, and NABO Heavyweight Champion, and world rated at #7 WBC, #11 WBA, #6 WBO and #10 IBF, Shannon Briggs says he knew he needed one more puzzle piece to go all the way. Enter well-respected new trainer Jeff Mayweather, uncle of world champion Floyd Jr., and experienced voice in the corner, which Briggs says will make the big difference when it counts.
“It’s going great. I’ve already learned some things and I feel great mentally about working with him,” says Briggs, 46-4-1 (40 KOs), of the first week with his new trainer. “I’ve been tightening up my defense and working on countering off my blocks; really sneaky, crafty stuff that, with my ability, will take me to another level.”
Currently riding an eleven-fight knockout streak, the surging Briggs is confident he has met the right trainer at the perfect time. “I knew I needed somebody with experience that comes from a boxing family,” he explains. “So (manager Hirsch) Scott reached out and made it happen.”
Mayweather, who has worked with former world champion Stevie Forbes, female star Jessica Rakoczy, and K-1 veteran Dewey Cooper among others, says he’s happy with his new charge. “When Scott Hirsch contacted me, I said I’d be honored. And me and Shannon hit it off really well. We are a lot alike, personality wise, and that made it an easy transition. Shannon is really personable and easy to talk to, but most importantly, he’s thirsting for knowledge. I look at it like I’m trying to add to a library. He has quite a bit he does well and I won’t mess with that, but he needs more books in his library and that’s why I’m there, to add to his library.”
One of the things his world-famous family has come to be known for is their spectacular defense; not surprisingly, Mayweather, who retired from professional boxing with a record of 32-10-5 (10 KOs), calls it his specialty. “As a fighter, I lacked punching power. That was my downfall; I knew I was going the distance in every fight I was in, so I wanted to get in there and make you look stupid and miss. I’ve got Shannon tightening up his defense. I’m trying to add to what he has and take away some of the reasons why he hasn’t been able to get to the championship yet.”
The other important aspect of working with Briggs that Mayweather says is critical is erasing old reputations by getting the former linear champion into superb physical condition. “Shannon never prepared to be a champion. He’s the first to admit it. The mark on him has always been if you can weather the early storm, you might beat him. I don’t think that’s the case anymore. I’ll be honest, right now, out of all the heavyweights I’ve seen, nobody is working harder than Shannon.”