Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs, last seen in the ring when he was brutally bludgeoned into a German hospital by Vitali Klitschko late last year, has launched a scathing attack on well-known boxing journalist Dan Rafael of ESPN.com.
Briggs, who later claimed in a lawsuit that he was paid only $25,000 out of the $750,000 he was owed for the Klitschko fight, is apparently riled over both Rafael's coverage of the fight itself and his remarks on the validity of the lawsuit.
In an online boxing chat on January 28, 2011, Rafael, when asked about the merit of Briggs' lawsuit, said:
"I don't believe it. Supposedly, he got hundreds of thousands in advances, which is part of the purse anyway. Was also told he ran up something like $70,000 on his promoter's credit card bill that they covered. But who knows the truth? That's why a judge will decide."
The Brooklyn-born fighter goes so far as to question the boxing scribe's journalistic ethics.
Today on his Twitter account, Briggs said, "After my fight with Vitali Dan Rafeal [sic] disrespected me totally. Today the Empire is falling. Dan you fat piece of sh*t I hope you get fired."
"Empire" is a reference to Empire Sports and Entertainment, the former business partners who Briggs claimed ripped him off after the Vitali fight, even deducting his hospital bills from his overall purse, according to the fighter.
"Dan Rafeal is a Shelly Finkel fan" Briggs tweets (Finkel is a main player at Empire). "He should be fired from ESPN for taking a position without the facts. Fat piece of sh*t.
"The things you said about me after the Vitali fight where [sic] bad coming for a 43 pig feet sandwich eating a*s f*ck like yourself," an irate Briggs tweeted at Rafael.
Briggs goes on to tweet that Rafael, who is one of the first mainstream boxing journalists in America to take a more supportive view of the heavyweight reign of the Klitschko brothers, is in his opinion likely being financially rewarded by Finkel, a long-time Klitschko associate, to write favorably about the Ukrainians.
"He's probably and getting paid by Shelly the fetus Finkel," Briggs tweets. "ESPN needs to look into his so called journalism ... Because he knows what his daddy Shelly will do if he ever goes against him. I hope that ESPN see's him for what he really is.
"When I was part of the empire [Rafael] was TOLD to write nice of me. I lost they released me. He went back to trashing me & eating."
Briggs wants Rafael either fired or reassigned, and intends to take up his grievances with ESPN.
"I'll be on the phone with the heads at ESPN tuesday. He'll be working in Alaska soon writing about seal fights," Briggs says of Rafael.
So far, Rafael has not publicly responded to Briggs, who also says that he is finished with boxing.
"I'm done," Briggs, who says he now "despises" the sport, writes. "The managers, promoters the entire [boxing] business is full of bad energy. Im doing bigger & better things. Raising my sons."
March 22, 2001 -- UPDATE
Shannon Briggs has for the moment called off his Twitter war against Empire Sports and Dan Rafael.
"My lawyer told me to lay off the douche bags that stole food from my kids due to the fact that they are trying to use twitter against me," Briggs tweets. He has now gone private with his Twitter account.
[Johnny Walker also writes for Boxinginsider.com]