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Klitschko: Briggs won't 'retire' me

Vitali Klitschko, left, will defend his WBC title for the fifth time against Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs this weekend.
Vitali Klitschko, left, will defend his WBC title for the fifth time against Shannon "The Cannon" Briggs this weekend.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Shannon Briggs talks up his chances of winning the WBC title from Vitali Klitschko
  • American claims that he will end his fellow veteran's boxing career on Saturday
  • Ukrainian confident that he will be successful in his fifth defense in Hamburg
  • Klitschko calls WBA champion David Haye "chicken" for avoiding him and his brother

(CNN) -- Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko shrugged off taunts from WBC challenger Shannon Briggs on Monday after the American threatened to end his fellow veteran's days in the boxing ring.

If trash talk counts, then the 38-year-old Briggs has a fighting chance of inflicting the Ukrainian's third career defeat in his fifth defense of the belt in Germany on Saturday.

He barely let his 39-year-old opponent get a word in at the start of a press conference in the older Klitschko brother's adopted home city of Hamburg.

"I really feel for you, but you have made a bad choice. You are going to meet an adversary that you have never met before. I can hit, box and dodge my opponent's punches," boasted Briggs, who lost to Lennox Lewis when he challenged for the WBC title in 1998.

When I hear him say he is going to propel me into retirement, that just makes me laugh. I am going to show I deserve to wear this belt
--Vitali Klitschko
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"I have never prepared so well for a bout. When I have finished with Vitali, they can bring on Wladimir immediately."

Klitschko, who has previously hinted that this will be his final year of boxing, was relaxed when he had the chance to reply to his rival, who briefly held the WBO title in 2006.

"It is not easy to find an adversary for me or my brother. Shannon accepted immediately to fight me and I thank him for that," he said. "But when I hear him say he is going to propel me into retirement, that just makes me laugh.

"I am ready and I am going to show that I deserve to wear this belt, which has been worn by [Mike] Tyson, Lewis and Muhammad Ali."

Klitschko is less pleased with WBA champion David Haye, who has opted to face fellow British fighter Audley Harrison on November 13 rather than fight either of the Ukrainian duo this year.

"David Haye is just chicken, to be honest. He's got a big mouth but nothing more. David Haye is the world's biggest trash talker," he told the Fanhouse website.

"But he's smart enough to understand that if David Haye made the contract with Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko, and he got inside the ring with either one of us, then it would be the finish of his boxing career."