Briscoe en 1972
|Real name||Bennie Briscoe|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Born||February 8, 1943|
Augusta, Georgia, United States
|Died||December 28, 2010 (aged 67)|
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States
|Wins by KO||53|
"Bad" Bennie Briscoe (February 8, 1943 – December 28, 2010) was an American professional boxer. A fan favorite for his punching power, he was known as the "quintessential Philadelphia boxer", and one of the greatest fighters of his era who due to various reasons did not become a world champion.
"Bad" Bennie fought from 1962 to 1982, and retired with a career record of 66 wins (53 by KO) 24 losses and 5 draws. Briscoe was a top-rated middleweight contender during the 1970s, unsuccessfully challenging for the WBC and WBA world titles on three different occasions. Notable former champions and contenders Brisoce fought included Marvin Hagler, Carlos Monzon, Rodrigo Valdes, Luis Rodríguez, Vicente Rondon, Tony Mundine, Vito Antuofermo, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Emile Griffith, and Vinnie Curto.
Cus D'Amato regarded Briscoe much higher than most his highly decorated opponents in many respects, particularly for his determination, intimidative posture, constant forward movement, aggressiveness, iron jaw, and ability to absorb punches no matter how solid he was hit, creating an impression of irresistable force to great many of his opponents.
Briscoe was born in Augusta, Georgia, to a poor family, one of fourteen children. Usually bold Briscoe said that the reason his hair is cut very short is that "When you're one of fourteen children they can't waste too much money on haircuts," and when he used to go to the barbershop, his father would say "Take it all off." Motivated by his family's poverty, at the age of 16, he moved from Augusta, where he was a star athlete in football and track and field, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to live with an aunt and uncle and attended Simon Gratz High School. There, he eventually began training alongside Joe Frazier, hence is his familiar bobbing-and-weaving style.
Briscoe supported his family, and his mother in particular, sending home a bit of each payday.
Briscoe had a standout career as an amateur, compiling a record of 70–3. He won the Middle Atlantic AAU title three times, the last in 1962 at Convention Hall in Philadelphia. Though he did not make it to win the United States National Boxing Championships in Pocatello, April 7, 1961, and in Cincinnati, March 31, 1962, losing to H.C. Massey and to Wade Smith respectively. He turned pro shortly thereafter, being coached by Quinzel McCall.
Bennie was known for his toughness, strong punch and body punching. He fought future middleweight champion Monzon to a draw in Buenos Aires on May 6, 1967, but dropped a 15-round decision to the champion in a 1972 title match, when Briscoe managed to stagger Monzon very badly with a solid lead right at 1:50 of the 9th round, sending Monzon to the ropes with his eyes blinking wide, ropes saved Carlos from falling down to the canvas, followed immediately by a left hook to the chin, and Monzon clinched him tightly to buy a time, though Briscoe didn't make it to finish him for he was not fully recovered after being struck with hepatitis, and local referee constantly interrupted in course of the fight in a blatant way. Each time Briscoe tried to capitalize on the openings, created by Monzon's high handguard, to administer his devastating body shots, which landed perfectly to the body, and by no means below the belt of his opponent, local referee stepped in without hesitation and warned him about low blows. Thus far he restrained himself from throwing body shots, even when in perfect position to do so, constantly afraid of being disqualified. Nevertheless, both losses came not only due to the unfair judging, and other local issues, but essentially due to the fact that Briscoe and his coach did not came up with any decent gameplan or strategy, while Monzon's camp studied the films of Briscoe fights very carefully, adjusting Monzon's style to perfectly counter Briscoe's front-running style, mostly outjabbing and outboxing him from the safe distance, available by the reach advantage.
By the end of 1972, having 56 professional fights under his belt, Briscoe has been floored only three times in his career, twice in the same fight in the 1st round, which he ended with a knockout victory in the 2nd round. Among his first-round victories was also a one-punch-knockout, a further proof of his outstanding punching power.
Briscoe was outpointed by former welterweight and middleweight king Emile Griffith in their first match, but fought Griffith to a draw in a rematch. He was outpointed by future middleweight champions Marvin Hagler and Vito Antuofermo.
Bennie also fought Rodrigo Valdez three times. He was outpointed twice, but Valdez scored a rare KO over Briscoe in an elimination match to determine the WBC middleweight champion on May 25, 1974 - it was the only time in 96 fights that Briscoe was ever stopped. The WBC had decided to "strip" Monzon of its version of the middleweight crown, although the rest of the world continued to recognize Monzon as champion.
Briscoe was one of the most feared middleweights of his era. In 2003, he was named in The Ring's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. His final record was 66-24-5 with 53 knockouts and one no contest.
Professional boxing record
Bennie Briscoe died on December 28, 2010.
- Bertucci, Frank (29 December 2010). "Legendary Philly fighter Bennie Briscoe dies at 67". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- Punching from the Shadows: Memoir of a Minor League Professional Boxer, 2018, p. 38.
- Interview with Cus D'amato and Mike Tyson (1:18:20 – 1:24:20).
- Carlos Monzon vs Bennie Briscoe II
- The Boxer Who Won't Quit. The New York Times
- The Ring Magazine, September 1963.
- "Ring Magazine's 100 Greatest Punchers". Ring Magazine. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- "Bennie Briscoe : Boxer". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 2012-11-09.