Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Shannon Briggs. Three heavyweight champions of great prominence, Tyson especially, and they all came from the same small area of New York. Brownsville sure produced some great fighters and, as Briggs has said to ES News, a new documentary on the fact is forthcoming. Briggs, who became lineal heavyweight champ and later the WBO ruler, gave some tantalising details about the new documentary – an eight-part series to be directed by Michael Rappaport.
“We are doing a documentary called ‘Brownsville; Never Ran, Never Will,’ an eight-part series directed by Michael Rappaport and co-produced by Sam Rockwell,” Briggs said. “It’s a great film, we’ve got Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe….Larry King was from Brownsville, The Three Stooges was from Brownsville, so we are doing a docu-series about Brownsville and its history. Three heavyweight champions from the same neighbourhood, not even two miles in size, the most [boxing] prodigy’s in the world, the most vicious neighbourhood in the state of New York. Brownsville, Brooklyn, we’ve got a scary story to tell. I grew up with Mike Tyson and Riddick Bowe, Riddick Bowe used to live upstairs from me. Bowe lived upstairs, Tyson used to live across the street from me, we lived in a hell of a neighbourhood.”
This one sounds fascinating. It’s true the Brownsville story is one that needs telling, in full, warts and all. The three heavyweight kings the neighbourhood produced made a huge impact on the sport of boxing, again, Tyson in particular, and to hear about their formative years will be, well, fascinating.
Heavyweights aside, Brownsville also produced excellent lower-weight fighters, such as Zab Judah. It really is amazing, as Briggs says, that such a small area produced so much great boxing talent. There really must be something in the water in Brownsville!
We have seen some great boxing documentaries made over the years, and when they are done right, they are the best. It sounds as though the Brownsville doc will be done right. I can’t wait for this one, how about you?
As for 51 year old Briggs, he is still talking about fighting again, with “The Cannon” recently saying he would come back and KO Francis Ngannou! Along with being an area that produced so many great fighters, Brownsville also gave us some of the best talkers in the business. Briggs is one of the best, most fun to listen to big mouths of the sport. Still.