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.