Shannon Briggs vows to return

10/20/2010 - Boxing

HAMBURG, Germany -- Shannon Briggs pledged Wednesday to return to the ring after surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left arm, despite a lopsided loss to Vitali Klitschko over the weekend that left him hospitalized.

Briggs said that apart from the arm injury, he felt fine after absorbing heavy punishment on Saturday night. He's been in the hospital ever since and is scheduled for surgery on Friday.

"I'm fine, I am looking forward to coming back, I feel great," Briggs told reporters on Wednesday at the Hamburg hospital.

The 38-year-old fighter did not give a date for his comeback and said he would consult with his management and his wife before setting a schedule. Briggs will have to rest for six weeks after Friday's surgery.

Briggs walked into the room wearing dark sunglasses but later took them off and said his face was fine despite earlier reports that he had broken bones around both eyes. A little swelling, especially around the left eye, could still be seen.

He also undressed to his undershirt to show a heavily swollen bicep on his left arm.

Briggs said he was injured in the first round.

"I didn't know what it was but I knew that something was wrong," Briggs said.

Briggs went the distance despite taking 171 cleans hits by the heavy-punching Klitschko.

"It was one of the toughest fights of my life, it was a brutal fight," Briggs said. "It was a tough experience."

German media have criticized ring officials and Briggs' corner for not stopping the contest, but Briggs said quitting "wasn't an option" and he had instructed his corner not to throw in the towel. "You can't quit in front of your wife," he said.

Klitschko and his younger brother Wladimir, also a heavyweight champion, visited Briggs in the hospital, where he will spend one more week after surgery.

"They are great fighters and great champions who are good for boxing," Briggs said.