February 24, 2000
Hometown, Crowd Pleasers KOs Opposition
On the evening of Thursday, February 24, Cedric Kushner's monthly boxing
series returned to the Manhattan Center, located just one block away from
Madison Square Garden on 34th and 8th Avenue in New York City. Hometown
favorites, Monte Barrett (23-1, 14KOs) and Shannon Briggs (32-2-1, 26KOs)
both looked exceptionally well and emerged victorious during another edition
of "Heavyweight Explosion 2000."
Having fought just 30 days ago, Barrett, a 28-year-old native of Queens, New
York, put forth a tremendous display of sheer guts and determination, as he
stopped the once-talked about, Jimmy Thunder (34-10, 27KOs) in the seventh
round. It was Barrett's second consecutive win since his only loss, a
10-round decision to Lance Whitaker last August.
"Banks was a tougher fight, because he was a boxer and I am a boxer," Barrett
commented from his dressing room afterward - referring to his previous bout
against Derrick Banks last month. "Whitaker was just a big guy, I did not
have good sparring partners. The whole thing was preparation."
At 6'0," Barrett, fighting a guy bigger and stronger than himself, not only
boxed at arms length, but was also willing to exchange with the 6' 2,"
229-pound Thunder. Early in the seventh, a hard right-hand over Thunder's
head had him back-peddling in a daze. Dancing circles around the ring,
Thunder was the recipient of a vicious barrage of two-handed, overhand shots
that forced a stoppage of the bout at the 52-second mark.
"Just looking at the tapes and staying focused on the tapes and his
weaknesses, I figured that with him being frustrated - moving him around,
walking him back, and fighting him in the middle of the ring - those wee his
weaknesses. He could not beat me in the middle of the ring," Barrett
commenting on his strategy for Thunder.
The Barrett that fought on this night was perhaps the best Barrett ever. He
was sharp, he constantly beat Thunder to the punch during each exchange. In
addition, Barrett showed plenty of skills - no fear!
"I would prefer to fight punchers in stead of boxers, because they make me
look better. They can only come one way - I'm versatile. I've fought good
fighters: Lance Whitaker, Phil Jackson, and Greg Page. You are going to meet
guys who are stronger than you.It's just the self preservation of who wants
it more." Barrett concluded.
As for Briggs, who is now 28, returned to the ring for the first time since
his 10-round draw against Frans Botha (D 10) last August. Briggs, in an
attempt to climb back up that long ladder of that dreaded heavyweight
championship picture, earned a third-round TKO of Warren Williams (14-10-1,
In his first world title attempt in March 1997, Briggs, who stunned the
Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, Lennox Lewis with a hard right to his
chin in the opening round, was stopped in the fifth round. Although he gone
undefeated since, he has not learned the importance of head-movement and
Against Williams, Briggs was caught with punches a 6' 5, 242 pound fighter
should not get hit with from a 6'0," 230-pounder. However, Briggs had too
much for his overmatched foe, as a hard straight-right to Williams' chin sent
him crashing to the canvas in the second round.
In the third, Briggs dropped Williams again with a classic "one-two,
left-right" combination to his chin. Thus, forcing a stoppage of the bout at
2:22 seconds of the third stanza.