By Chris Perry
Following their debut show in Hampton Roads last month, promoter Jack Fulton’s International Championship Boxing Knockout Series returns to the Norfolk Scope Area in Norfolk, Virginia on May 28 with a double main event featuring former WBO Heavyweight Champion Shannon Briggs and light heavyweight Daniel Judah. “We’re excited to be back,” said Fulton at the May 3 press conference held at the Scope arena’s Showcase restaurant to announce the event. “Boxing has a home right here in Norfolk and ICB is proud to be the company that is bringing it to you.”
Shannon Briggs (49-5-1, 43 KOs), an 18-year veteran and multiple title holder from Brooklyn, New York, captured the WBO heavyweight crown in 2006. He’s gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Lennox Lewis, George Foreman and Sultan Ibragimov and is on a mission to reclaim a heavyweight crown.
“Right now, I’m on a quest for my third heavyweight championship,” said Briggs at the ICB press conference. “I am the last American born heavyweight champion and I look forward to bringing the title back home to America.”
Briggs believes recent title challengers have lacked the experience, speed, power and size to get the job done. “I’m the only guy big enough. I’m the only guy experienced enough, fast enough and strong enough to knockout the Klitchko brothers or David Haye. Right now, my thing is not only to say it, but to prove it and that’s what I’m doing.”
Briggs is busy working toward his goal. On April 13 he earned a 17-second first-round knockout victory over Rafael Pedro. He has a May 21 bout scheduled before challenging ring veteran Rob Calloway in Norfolk.
“He’s a great guy,” said Briggs of Calloway. “I know him personally and really like him. I do remember him from the amateurs. He was a very slick boxer and a very well spoken guy.”
“At the same time,” continued Briggs, “I’m a little offended that Rob took the fight because I’m on a mission and Rob is in the way of my mission. If Rob is to derail me from what I’m doing, it messes up my whole plan. I’m taking this fight as seriously as I would a fight with Mike Tyson, George Foreman or Lennox Lewis because all I need is to slip and the train is off the track. I can’t look past him at all. With that in mind, I know Rob is a very good boxer so I’m training extra hard.”
“I’ve watched his career through the years,” said Calloway (75-7-2, 59 KOs). “I’ve kept up with how far he’s come and I’m impressed by his accomplishments. I’ve accomplished a lot in boxing as well. I’ve fought in eight different countries and 30 different states. I’ve fought all over the world and beat some guys I shouldn’t have beaten. I’ve done well.”
“I appreciate this opportunity,” said the Kentucky native who now resides and owns a health club in St. Joseph, Missouri. “I look forward to giving the best I can and taking full advantage of it.”
Although Briggs calls Brooklyn home, he considers Virginia a second home with many family members scattered throughout the state.
“It’s almost like I’m from Virginia,” said Briggs. “I spent every summer here as a child growing up. My mom got me out of Brooklyn to keep me away from the craziness.”
“I first came to Virginia Beach in 1991 I believe it was. I was a stable mate of Pernell Whitaker. I’ll never forget, when I was about 17 or 18 years old, one day he told me to jump in the car with him and he brought me to his home. It was the biggest house I had ever seen at the time coming from Brooklyn. He told me ‘one day you can have this if you stay focused. That’s the talent in you’. And, here I am, back in his hometown fighting in Norfolk for the first time. I’m looking forward to it.”
Briggs concluded his comments about his May 28 bout saying, “I’m going to do what I have to do. First round KO.”
Also from Brooklyn, Daniel Judah (23-5-3, 10 KOs) will challenge Caroline County, Virginia’s Adam Seal (7-1, 6 KOs) in the co-feature bout on May 28. A victory for Judah will qualify him for an upcoming ICB light heavyweight tournament. Seal, a former outstanding tough man competitor and amateur boxer, will face the toughest challenge of his young professional career. Both fighters had strong words for each other at the press conference.
“On May 28, Adam Seal is going to sleep,” said Judah. “All those tough man contests are a dead issue. I’m not worried about that. All I’m worried about is what round I’m going to get him out. I’m coming to show this state of Virginia and the city of Norfolk that Daniel Judah’s back.”
Seal, intense, stepped up to the podium briefly saying, “I’m training hard for this fight…I’ve just got to say you’re in my way and I’m coming through you.”
Two boxers returning from the inaugural ICB Knockout Series event to fight on the May 3 card are Norfolk super middleweight Bobby Jordan, Jr. (7-2-1, 3 KOs), who scored a knockout win last month, and Baltimore, Maryland’s Tyrell Samuel (14-4, 6 KOs). Samuel went the distance but lost an exciting 10-round main event bout against world-ranked lightweight Dorin Spivey.
Although the card is subject to change, other bouts tentatively scheduled for May 3 include: Norfolk middleweight Frankie Filippone (3-1, 1 KO) challenging Richmond, Virginia’s Warren Freeman (0-1, 0 KOs); Norfolk lightweight Stephan Alexander (3-2, 3 KOs) facing Javier Dennis (1-3, 1 KO); Virginia Beach, Virginia light middleweight Jason Wahr challenging Norfolk’s Stanley Harvey (0-1, 0 KOs) and Hopewell, Virginia middleweight Taurean Edwards facing Virginia Beach, Virginia’s Ken Moody. First bell is at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the May 28 International Championship Boxing Knockout Series event are available now through Ticketmaster and at the Norfolk Scope Area box office. A limited number of VIP ringside tables are available for sponsors and their guests. For ticket information, call the Scope box office at 757-664-6464. For sponsorship information, call ICB at 347-535-4210. More information on ICB can be found at www.ICBKnockoutSeries.com.