Shannon Briggs' valiant losing effort against Vitali Klitschko in October was both praised and criticized. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Former light heavyweight title challenger and current trainer "Iceman" John Scully has a very interesting article up at 8countnews.com that I thought would be a great share this evening. John discusses the recent Vitali Klitschko-Shannon Briggs fight, and the outcry that the fight should have been stopped. Here's just a piece, but make sure to go read the full article, because it's very much worth it.
I believe there comes a moment in a great many fights that two things can happen. One is that a fighter will be matched extremely tough and it will occur to him at some point that he isn't going to win. He's just not strong enough, fast enough or good enough to actually defeat this particular opponent. It happens.
The other moment is the one where the fighter realizes he isn't going to win the fight but he decides he wants to finish it at all costs to gain a moral victory of sorts, if not over his opponent than a victory over himself. He doesn't want to give any opponent the satisfaction of "stopping" him. And he doesn't want to live with the anguish of knowing he submitted physically and mentally to that opponent. Fighters at their core generally have a different way of thinking and a different way of rationalizing things than people who don't fight would.
He also talks about Gerald McClellan and his own experiences in similar circumstances. I think it's pretty enlightening to read from a former fighter who is still in close contact with the sport on this subject. As much as I believe that I or any other observer certainly has the right to criticize a referee or a corner for not pulling out a fighter who has no hope of winning and is absorbing great punishment, I really felt something reading his take on the subject.