Briggs staying in hospital with hurt arm

Heavyweight Shannon Briggs is staying in the hospital because of
an injury to his left biceps from his weekend loss to Vitali
Klitschko.

Briggs lost the WBC title fight by unanimous decision but did
not go down despite being pounded by his Ukrainian opponent
Saturday.

In a statement by Briggs and distributed by the hospital, the
U.S. fighter said he incurred ”no severe head injuries.” Briggs
said it was his decision to keep fighting although his corner
wanted to stop the one-sided bout.

”Hopefully I showed you the heart of a lion and the
perseverance of a champion,” Briggs said.

Briggs, who also has asthma, said he injured his arm in the
first round and came to the hospital ”strictly as a precautionary
measure.”

Briggs’ manager, Greg Cohen, told RTL, the broadcaster of the
bout, the fighter would have surgery on his arm. Briggs did not
mention that in his statement and the hospital declined to answer
questions on his condition, citing privacy laws. RTL also said
Briggs had broken bones around both eyes.

Briggs remained standing after the bout, answered questions on
live television, talked with Klitschko and left the hall on his
own. Bild newspaper said the 38-year-old fighter collapsed while
trying to give a urine sample for the post-fight doping test.

RTL said Klitschko visited Briggs in the hospital on Sunday.

German media have criticized British referee Ian John-Lewis and
Briggs’ corner for not stopping the fight. Cohen said he would have
thrown in the towel but Briggs insisted on fighting.

”Unfortunately, the injury kept me from fully executing my
fight plan. Not to take anything away from a brilliant performance
by Vitali Klitschko Saturday night, had I had not injured my arm
early on, who knows how the fight would have concluded,” Briggs
said.

Referee John-Lewis had gone to Briggs’ corner late in the bout
but made no move to stop it. He said he thought Briggs had enough
left to keep fighting.

German media said Briggs took 302 blows to the head and the
body, with 171 of them counting as clean hits.

”Despite prior reports, throughout the contest my trainer,
Herman Caicedo, wanted to stop the fight, but I made it cleat that
stopping was not an option,” Briggs said.