Modern heavyweights may not bring the in-ring action as well as their predecessors, but there seems to be an ongoing competition to determine who can make the biggest fool of themselves at a press conference.
There was Dereck Chisora's brawl with David Haye at the conference following his loss to Vitali Klitschko, a fight most notable for Chisora's unprofessional behavior. Before that there was the shockingly ineffectual two-piece that Riddick Bowe landed on Larry Donald when the two men stood behind the podium prior to their twelve-round contest. Even the trainers have gotten into it: who could forget when Alton Merkerson knocked out John Ruiz's trainer Norman Stone prior to the heavyweight fighter's bout with Roy Jones Jr?
Not to be outdone, former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs made a confusing attempt to stay relevant at today's press conference for Wladimir Klitschko's upcoming bout with Alex Leapai.
The Associated Press reports that Briggs stood up in the middle of the conference, removed his shirt, and began demanding a fight with Klitschko. Klitschko kept his cool, but Leapai was enraged by Briggs' behavior, and apparently had to be restrained by the champion himself.
"I have never had to hold back my opponent at a press conference before," Klitschko joked.
Klitschko is expected to defend his belts (all of the belts) against Alex Leapai this Saturday. It's doubtful that Leapai will have anything for the dominant champion, and even more doubtful that Klitschko will go on to fight Shannon Briggs in the near future.
UPDATE: Here's footage of the bizarre incident from German TV that shows Briggs disrobing, being restrained by security, and doing two pushups before leaving the scene. Also, calling a smiling Wladimir a "Feigling." To his face!
Bad Left Hook will have all of your Klitschko-Leapai coverage up to and through the live event.