Mandatory Eight Count: Shannon Briggs Thankful, Gary Shaw Peeved, Yuri Foreman a Dad

Vitali Klitschko's next opponent is thankful for the chance to lose to him. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Briggs ready for Klitschko in first fight outside U.S. (Miami Herald)
About as humble as Shannon Briggs has ever sounded: "I appreciate the opportunity Vitali has given me and I am going to take full advantage of it. He didn't need to fight me, but since this wasn't a mandatory fight he gave me the opportunity." I'll say it again: At least Briggs had the guts to sign, which is more than can be said for David Haye, Alexander Povetkin, Odlanier Solis, and others.

Pascal-Hopkins: Shaw Questions HBO's Involvement (
The rumored Dec. 18 date for a possible HBO-televised fight between Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins is sticking in Gary Shaw's craw. Shaw says he "offered" HBO a fight on that date between Chad Dawson and Bernard Hopkins, but he (and other promoters) were told that HBO wasn't going to have boxing on that night. HBO generally does not have boxing that close to the Christmas holiday, so who knows? But if you get right down to it, Pascal-Hopkins is probably a lot more attractive to them than Dawson-Hopkins, too. A lot of money has been put into promoting and marketing Chad Dawson, and right now that has been a failure. He can't draw and just lost a fight that will be in the running for upset of the year. Add in that Hopkins is no superstar at the turnstiles and has drawn dismal PPV buyrates and bad HBO ratings for his most recent fights, and you don't have something that would seem attractive to HBO, I don't suspect. Pascal is hot. Dawson is not. Bernard is, as always, Bernard.

Yuri Foreman Becomes Proud Papa on Wife's Birthday (FanHouse)
Congratulations to Yuri and Leyla Foreman on the birth of their son. For those wondering about Foreman's knee injury, he'll start running soon, he says. (P.S. did you know he's studying to be a rabbi?)

Ivan Calderon Will Look For a Segura Rematch in 2011 (
"Iron Boy" is looking to take a belt from someone other than Giovani Segura (right now, that would mean either Luis Lazarte or Omar Nino), then schedule a rematch next year. Good thing, because we all know how much sanctioning bodies looove their titles being unified with those of the other bodies.

Giovanni Segura Takes Full, Proper Advantage Of Ivan Calderon's Stupidity To Give Him His First Loss (The Queensbury Rules)
Supposedly, trading shots with the best puncher in the division was Ivan Calderon's way of not being "boring." Tim Starks argues -- rightly, if that's the case -- that it resulted in Calderon's way of being "stupid."

Against the Grain: On the Pacquiao-Margarito Fight (The Cruelest Sport)
Personally, I think the Pacquiao-Margarito fight sucks. But here's another take, and one that's hard to argue with when you break it down. Why would Manny Pacquiao fight Timothy Bradley, Andre Berto, Paul Williams, etc., when he can make a lot more money to fight Antonio Margarito? On that point, I cannot disagree. I can only disagree with the idea that Margarito is "deserving," but to do that, you have to ignore money, which is what drives every single business and sport in the entire world. In a perfect world, it'd be different, but this world isn't perfect.

A golden moment: 1960 Olympic victory launched Muhammad Ali into the spotlight (The Courier-Journal)
Cassius Clay wanted to be the king of the world. And 50 years ago this week, the Louisville teenager claimed a corner of the kingdom in front of cheering Romans.

Biggest boxing match in Seattle history (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
It happened on July 26, 1938, when 35,000-plus filled Civic Stadium in Seattle to see Al Hostak face Freddie Steele for the National Boxing Association middleweight title. Jack Dempsey was the referee.

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