This is one of the most finely promoted fights in recent heavyweight history. How else to explain any interest in this lousy ppv card to begin with?

Boxing will not be covering this fight. Why?

Off the top of my head, I can't think of one name fighter that either Briggs or Botha holds a victory over. They've both defined their careers on what they "almost did". Not good enough for my ppv money.

Frans Botha's latest claim to fame is beating on Mike Tyson before blowing it like an amateur. I think everyone reading this agrees that the Mike Tyson in the ring that night was a shadow of a shell of a facsimile of the Tyson who once ruled the division. Prior to that, Botha "impressed" us all by not being able to defeat a Michael Moorer that was so disinterested in fighting that Teddy Atlas nearly had an aneurysm. Oh, Botha beat Axel Shultz. Big deal.

Shannon Briggs has made a career on dredlocks. His resume highlight is temporarily staggering Lennox Lewis in a fight that quickly settled down into a savage one-sided beating by Lewis. Prior to that, Briggs clearly lost to a George Foreman who was so off that his performance vs. Lou Savarese was beginning to look like his prime. Losing to Darroll Wilson in an HBO gimme fight hurt his reputation, but not as much as his asthma excuses that have been widely discounted.

These two guys aren't fighting for a title, are barely in the top ten, aren't really promised a shot at Tyson if they win, and aren't really two boxers known for excitement, courage and championship will to win. Throw in Omar Sheika in a set up fight, and Barrera biding his time until he can fight Erik Morales, and you have a fight card that, in my opinion, not only isn't worth $29.95 on pay per view, but isn't worth 3 hours of your time if you could see it for free on ESPN2.

We'll return next week when a fight of genuine importance (Johnston vs. Manfredy) actually takes place.

.....Chris Bushnell

© 2001 Chris Bushnell. All rights reserved.

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