Shannon Briggs says he has investors interested in making a boxing exhibition between him and Mike Tyson a reality.
According to Briggs, the former heavyweight champions are committed to participating in an exhibition that would help raise money to fund a boxing gym in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Briggs, who has long cited Tyson as the inspiration to start his boxing career, and Tyson are Brownsville natives and friends.
Briggs explained his plan during a recent appearance on SiriusXM’s “The Ak And Barak Show.”
“It’s the biggest fight in old man history,” a laughing Briggs said. “I’ll say that. It’s the biggest fight in old man history!”
The 53-year-old Tyson sparked speculation recently regarding a comeback by posting short videos of him hitting mitts. Tyson also has expressed interest in an exhibition bout for charity with Evander Holyfield, who beat Tyson twice in heavyweight title fights in November 1996 and June 1997.
Tyson hasn’t fought in nearly 15 years, not since unheralded underdog Kevin McBride stopped him after six rounds in June 2005 in Washington, D.C. Ahead on two scorecards, Tyson declined to answer the bell for the seventh round that night at MCI Center.
The 48-year-old Briggs hasn’t fought since May 2016.
“I’ll say this – the money is there,” Briggs said of facing Tyson in an exhibition. “The money is almost there. I’ll leave it at that. I can’t say much. I’ll leave it at that. I don’t wanna say anything to disrespect the champ because this is for charity and this is an exhibition. I want people to understand this is an exhibition and it’s for charity. Mike asked for a number [to participate]. … Already done, champ. Everything’s ready.”
Briggs stressed that his fight with Tyson would be an exhibition in which they would wear boxing gloves, not a bareknuckle battle. Despite their friendship, Briggs still would be wary of Tyson’s unpredictability.
“It’s for charity,” Briggs said. “It’s fun. We’re gonna have some fun. We’re gonna move around. But he’s Mike Tyson we’re talking about, man. He might flip. He might hit a switch. When the bell ring, he might be like, he might think it’s something else. And he naturally hit hard, so he might hit me and break my ribs or some sh*t. I’ve gotta be fully prepared if this happens.
“This is Mike Tyson, man. I love Mike. He crazy. He might flip and click, and devour me. And then y’all gonna be like, ‘Yo, look at him.’ Then y’all gonna be like, ‘Look, he ready for Wilder.’ Then you’re gonna be like, ‘He ready for Wilder.’ Right? Keep it real.”
The former WBO champion was noncommittal when asked how Tyson would fare if he came back at his advanced age to fight a top heavyweight who is still in his prime.
“We won’t know until after the exhibition,” Briggs said. “And then we’ll see what’s left of the champ.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.