American boxer Shannon Briggs disrupts David Haye's press conference in central London.

David Haye confronted by Shannon Briggs at heated press conference

Published Add your comment

Article continues below

Article continues below

David Haye was berated by Shannon Briggs as a press conference to announce the Briton's next fight exploded into life with a heated verbal exchange between the former heavyweight champions.

Shortly after unknown Kosovan Arnold Gjergjaj had been revealed as Haye's opponent in the second fight of his comeback at The O2 on May 21, Briggs arrived complete with entourage to demand a showdown.

The 44-year-old American, who was stopped in five rounds by Lennox Lewis in 1998, shouted "who are you?" at the non-English speaking Gjergjaj before turning his attention towards Haye.

"Tell everyone why you're fighting him, who we've never heard of, instead of me? We need an answer. Let's go champ," Briggs said.

When Briggs was asked by Haye if he would pass a brain scan, in reference to being hospitalised following a brutal points defeat to Vitali Klitschko six years ago, the American replied: "Any time, any day. I'm in the best shape of my life.

"Haye's a chump. You've been hiding from me. I know I can beat you. Tell your country why you're fighting him and not me. He's scared of me.

"Don't believe the hype London, he's a fraud. Everyone should ask for a refund right now. I came to London to fight. Let's go champ."

Once the colourful Briggs had departed with the words "have a nice day London", Haye addressed the possibility of a meeting a fighter who has posted eight wins in low key shows since falling to Klitschko.

"If he can pass his medical and he wants to fight on the undercard so we can see what he's got, then we can talk about it," said Haye.

"It's all well and good him screaming and shouting, but I don't even know if he can get a licence in this country. If he can, then we'll take about it if the fans want to see it."

Briggs' intervention enlivened an underwhelming announcement that Gjergjaj would provide the next obstacle as Haye continues his return after a three-and-a-half year absence that was partly the result of a career-threatening shoulder injury.

Gjergjaj - nicknamed 'The Cobra' - has won all 29 of his contests, but only one of those has been staged outside Switzerland, where the 31-year-old is a resident, and that was in Hungary.

It is a hard sell and seemingly a step backwards after January's first-round stoppage of Mark de Mori, who was at least ranked inside the world's top 10, but Haye defended his choice of adversary.

"A lot of the guys in the top 10 want ridiculous money and there's no budget to get these guys," said Haye, whose ultimate goal is to face Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury.

"They say they want to fight you, but then when you speak to them they give you a totally unrealistic number.

"Technically, right now, there is no TV money to pay these guys to come over and fight. A lot of guys know they will get knocked out and want a big cash-out pay day.

"It's a business as well as a sport and this guy is perfect at this stage. I said from the start I want to fight regularly and get some momentum back in my career.

"Gjergjaj is taller than me, he's unbeaten and he can move and has fast hands. He ticks all the boxes and will give a good fight.

"The top guys in the division are all taller than me and so I wanted an opponent who is taller than me, so that I'm punching upwards, and I've got that in Gjergjaj."

Haye revealed that 10 per cent of ticket sales from the fight - which is expected to be televised on a freeview platform - will be donated to Nick Blackwell.

Blackwell, 25, has been in an induced coma since collapsing at the end of Saturday's British middleweight title defeat by Chris Eubank Jr.

"I believe Nick will make a full recovery, but after such a traumatic injury his boxing career is over," Haye said.

"I put my whole life into boxing and, if I had to stop at 25, then I wouldn't have been financially secure.

"So when he comes around he'll find himself in a tough position and that's why 10 per cent of the ticket revenue is being donated to him.

"It will be a dark and tough time for him when he comes around, so he could use all the assistance and help he'll get.

"Regardless of the risk, it's your life to do with as you will. Nick loves boxing and has a great heart. Unfortunately because he has that, it probably led to this situation."

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:


Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again