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Boxing Interviews: Archives
Speed is the Key to Briggs Victory
Feb 29, 2004 By Anthony Cocks
WBC #2 light heavyweight Paul "Hurricane" Briggs is confident his superior hand speed will be the difference when he matches skills with WBC #8 Jesus "Choo Choo" Ruiz in a sanctioned fight for the mandatory contender position on March 7 at Panthers World of Entertainment in Penrith, Sydney.
"Ruiz is tough as nails and he can punch," explained a relaxed and confident Briggs. "You know, there’s a lot on the line basically that he’ll be fighting for, so with any fight like this it's a dangerous fight. But he’s very slow so I think speed is going to be my best asset.
"And I’ve got good power as well," added Briggs, almost as an afterthought.
With 17 of his 21 professional wins coming inside the scheduled distance, that's clearly an understatement. The 28-year-old former world kickboxing champion has shown genuine power in both hands throughout his career, with his warrior mentality and high knockout ratio endearing him to Australian fight fans.
The heavy-handed Ruiz is no slouch either, with only two opponents in his 18 victories surviving to hear the final bell. The Guanajuato, Mexico native is a rugged campaigner who has held his own in competitive bouts against former world champion Montell Griffin and Julio Gonzalez, who later went on to inflict the first loss on longtime WBO ruler Dariusz Michalczewski.
Briggs is in the final stages of his preparation that has included world class sparring against the likes of WBC interim SuperMiddleweight Champion Danny Green, local standout Lawrence Tauasa and former world title challenger Shannan Taylor.
"I’ll finish up boxing Friday and just sharpen up next week with pad work," said Briggs.
In April 2003, Briggs fought cagey Argentinean veteran Jorge "Locomotora" Castro in what was billed as a world title eliminator. The Gold Coast based fighter who trains under the auspices of Rod Waterhouse at Team Fistic Fury won a wide points decision against the man who gave former IBF Cruiserweight Champion Vassily Jirov some torrid moments in their battle just one year earlier. Since that victory mandated bouts against top ten rated contenders Clinton Woods, Eric Harding, Stipe Drews and Julio Gonzalez have all fallen over at various stages of negotiations.
While most boxers would be frustrated by the continuing setbacks preventing them from achieving the pinnacle of their chosen sport, Briggs takes it all in his stride.
"It’s only as frustrating as you allow it to be, I suppose," said Briggs. "You know, that's the business of boxing and that’s sort of how it goes and you've just got to stay at it. It’s not anyone’s right to fight for a world title, it’s something that you build up to and, with a lot of luck as well, you get an opportunity like Danny Green did."
But Briggs is not one to rely on luck and blind faith in the sanctioning bodies to do the right thing by him. He would rather go out there and make it happen himself.
"Sometimes you’ve just got to work your way up the rankings like I am and wait for your shot. That’s basically all I’ve been doing. If it comes sooner, it does, but if not, you know, you’ve just got to knock out the guys they put in front of you and then it goes from there," said Briggs.
Recently Briggs' management team reached an agreement with Oscar
De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions to be the exclusive promoter of his future fights in the United States.
With the exposure this deal is likely to bring and the backing of the most high profile name in boxing today, Paul Briggs' future looks very bright indeed.
Questions or comments email Anthony at: firstname.lastname@example.org