Joshua and Fury’s plan to decide every major belt in the heavyweight division has been halted – Fury will now defend his WBC belt in a trilogy with Wilder, while IBF, WBA and WBO champion Joshua has been ordered to take on his mandatory challenger Usyk.
Briggs, a former heavyweight world champion, has now warned that Joshua and Fury’s hope of postponing their mega-fight could be in tatters if they don’t take their upcoming fights seriously.
“Don’t sleep on Wilder,” Briggs tells Sky Sports.
“Throughout the history of the boxing world he is a freak of nature.
“He could smash anyone and knock them out with his power.
“He’s going to be an underrated guy for a long time because he didn’t have a lot of guys to fight.
“We don’t know what he will come up with in this fight. He could shock the world! “
After a draw in their first fight, Fury categorically stopped Wilder for ripping the WBC belt and inflicting a first loss on his rival.
An arbitration tribunal has ruled that they must meet again and the date of July 24 has been set for Las Vegas.
“Fury might have had a bad idea.
“If this guy knocks Fury out, then what?”
” It’s possible. Will there be a fourth fight?
“Fury can’t sleep on Wilder. We have to look at this for what it is – a 200 pound man? With those skinny legs, he shouldn’t be hitting so hard!
“But he hits hard. It is not normal to hit so hard. But he can’t fight back. “
The WBO ordered Joshua to defend his belt against mandatory challenger Usyk. They have until May 31 to agree terms before the scholarship offers are used to confirm the fight.
Briggs warned, “The fight to prepare for is Usyk vs. Wilder!”
“We may have to prepare for this. “
He says of Usyk, the undisputed former weight cruiser champion: “A tough, tough, tough fight. A guy like that? Who can work like this?
“He’s a very tall Vasiliy Lomachenko!
“Over the rounds, he gets stronger.
“The best chance for AJ is to catch him early. AJ is very early, Usyk is very late.
“It’s a dangerous fight, a tough fight. This Usyk is different, man.
“It’s AJ’s toughest fight – just as tough as AJ versus Fury.
“If the ring is big, it will be difficult to catch. He gets stronger as the rounds go on, what happens is he starts pushing you down.
“He has a pace of work and he is left-handed. He can sneak up. He’s got so much energy, he throws so many punches that don’t all hurt you, but it’s the punches you don’t see.
“His condition goes up and up, and he throws you into the ground.” “
Usyk was previously in talks to fight Joe Joyce for the interim WBO belt.
Briggs says, “The only man I see like him is Joyce. He gets stronger and stronger and stronger. He’s a super threat.
“Joyce is different. He’s a big jester, a big guy, a big joker!
“It’s not normal. No geezer with this type of height should be able to turn around like that, to control their weight.
“No man I have seen can jump in the air and turn around – it shows me that his basic strength is beyond strength.
“It will help you with your chin and neck. Everything is connected.
“He’s super strong. “
“Let’s go champion!
The American won the WBO title in 2006 against Siarhei Liakhovich. He lost the WBC title fights to Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko.
Briggs spent the latter part of his career chasing Wladimir Klitschko, then David Haye, and trying to publicly incite them to fight, but to no avail.
“I was a four-ball fighter at most – I could stretch that sometimes,” he says.
“I had the most knockouts in heavyweight history in the first round. I was a quick starter.
“I said to my mother, aged 15 or 16, ‘I think I can be successful in boxing’.
“She said, ‘If I buy these boots from you, you have to promise to take them all off in the first round because you have asthma! “”