Known to the boxing world as The Cannon, he was born Shannon Briggs on December 4, 1971 to Margie Briggs in Brooklyn, New York. He was raised in the same rough, rugged and raw neighborhood of Brownsville that turned out heavyweight superstars Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe. From his childhood into his teen years, Briggs managed to overcome insurmountable odds, including being born with a debilitating case of asthma, being evicted from his project building, and then, homelessness. Eventually he went on to live with an aunt in East New York, Brooklyn. At the urging of his friend Zack, Briggs began to think of making a career out of fighting. At age 17, Briggs began training at Jimmy OíFarrowís Starrett City Gym. He quickly became known for having a damaging left hook and a punishing overhand right. 1991 was the year of ėThe Cannonî when Briggs won the New York Golden Gloves title, a national PAL tournament crown and a silver medal as a heavyweight champion in the Panamerican Games. By 1992, he was the United States Amateur Heavyweight Champion. His amateur career took off with lightning speed and he was undefeated in his first 25 fights, a remarkable record for any fighter. The professional boxing world welcomed Briggs with open arms.
Although Briggs lost his first publicized fight in 1996, he quickly became a media sensation again in 1997 when he fought the legendary George Foreman for the Linear Heavyweight Championship title and won. Briggs went on to challenge major boxing heavyweights which included Lennox Lewis and Francis Botha and eventually defeated WBO heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist Ray Mercer. He gained the WBO Heavyweight Championship title after knocking out Sergei Liakhovich on November 4, 2006. Shannon Briggs is also known for his ferocious fighting skills in the Mixed Martial Arts community after fighting in the mega K-1 tournament in front of more than 50,000 audience members and 2 million television viewers at home in Tokyo, Japan.
Shannon Briggs has been showcased as a feature fighter on major cable television networks including HBO, Showtime, ESPN and USA Network. He has also been covered in nationally-circulated sports and lifestyle publications including Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Details, The Source and VIBE Magazine.
A polished professional, Briggs is a true modern day Renaissance man, and has also showcased his talents as an actor, model, public speaker, business executive and charitable volunteer. He made his television acting debut on ėNew York Undercoverî (FOX Television) in 1995 and has since appeared in feature films ėBad Boys 2î (2003, Columbia Pictures) with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, ėTransporter 2î (2005, Europa Corp) and ėThe Wacknessî (2008, Occupant Films).
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