Vitali Klitschko might have to give Shannon Briggs a shoulder to lean on again after dominating their fight in Hamburg. (Photo by Krafft Angerer/Bongarts/Getty Images)
In what may have been his best performance since his 2008 comeback, Vitali Klitschko shut out and dominated a brave and ultra-tough Shannon Briggs over 12 rounds in Hamburg, Germany, retaining his WBC heavyweight title.
Klitschko (41-2, 38 KO) looked spry from the get-go, starting much faster than usual. To be totally honest, he seemed to have almost no respect for what Briggs (51-6-1, 45 KO) brought to the table, and he increasingly battered Briggs throughout the entire fight. There were several rounds that could have been scored 10-8 without knockdowns, and the judges did go that way. Two scores were 120-107, and one was 120-105. Bad Left Hook had it 120-106.
Klitschko may next face Tomasz Adamek in 2011, if Adamek defeats Vinny Maddalone in December. Briggs is a much bigger man than Adamek, and punches much harder, but Klitschko just breezed past him and totally demolished the veteran from Brooklyn. Adamek is a good athlete, but has had some issues taking punches from the likes of Michael Grant and Cristobal Arreola, neither of whom are near Klitschko's level. At this point, you'd have to consider Adamek beating Vitali to be a miracle-level upset.
After the fight, the two showed great respect for one another and a lot of class, as they had leading up to the fight. Briggs deserves a lot of credit for the beating he took in this fight and managing to stay on his feet, and also just for having the guts to fight Klitschko in the first place, which is becoming a bigger and bigger issue facing the brothers as they continue to own the heavyweight landscape.