Tag Archives: Boxing

Don Rosenfeld, Executive Producer, Cradle of Champions

Great to speak with Don Rosenfeld this week on ‘Tech of Sports.’

Don is the Executive Producer of this amazing documentary about Golden Gloves Boxing in New York City, CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS.

CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS follows three extraordinary, inspiring individuals—James Wilkins, Nisa Rodriguez, and Titus Williams—on an urban odyssey through a ten-week tournament, founded in 1927, that has produced more professional world champions than the Olympic Games.

Telling a compelling story of dreams, heartbreak, and redemption, the result is a unique work of art. CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS is edge-of-the-seat drama with the polish of a Hollywood feature film and the intimacy of a gritty cinéma vérité classic.

New York City’s Golden Gloves is the largest amateur boxing tournament on the planet, and the launching pad for some of the sport’s biggest names, from Muhammad Ali to Sugar Ray Robinson. This documentary takes a raw and intimate look at four participants, thereby showing New York’s many faces while relaying unique yet universal personal struggles on the path toward the championship.

Don is the perfect guest and the person that can take us behind the scenes of this documentary that boxing fans and the general public will find intriguing.

Boxing is not what most people associate with Rosenfeld, who’s best known for his lyrical, literary dramas; between 1987 and 1998, as president of Merchant Ivory Productions, he brought films like Howards End and Remains of the Day to the screen. (Though as he notes, he’s been making docs that are “far afield,” for years, including Jodorowsky’s Dune and the four-hour Andy Warhol). It was during his time at Merchant Ivory that he befriended Emma Thompson, who promised she would write him a screenplay one day. That was the exquisite Effie Gray, a biopic of Victorian proto-feminist Euphemia Gray, who wed the painter John Ruskin as a teen, then escaped what turned out to be a horrible, stultifying union. When Effie Gray premiered in 2015 (it showed at SLIFF that year) it was 10 steps ahead of the collective; in 2017, in the wake of Wonder Woman and #metoo, it’s easy to forget how historically tough it is to make movies with strong female protagonists.

“No one wanted to make it,” Rosenfeld says. Despite the challenge of movie-industry sexism—and the multiple frivolous lawsuits the production weathered—the film was released to critical acclaim.”

CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS has aired on Showtime, and now id available on Showtime “On Demand.

Shannon Briggs, Two-Time World Heavyweight Boxing Champ

This week, on Tech of Sport,” Rick is joined by former Heavyweight Champ, Shannon Briggs.

Shannon Briggs, the two-time world heavyweight boxing champion, today announced his plans for 2018 including his return to the ring and the launch of a new business venture.

“I’m really happy to be getting back into training and I want to fight in 2018,” said Briggs. “This past year was a tough year for me. It’s been a long road, with many twists and turns, but I battled through it and feel good about the future. The Champ is back and ready to go!”

A boxing world veteran, Briggs, 46, has spent more than twenty years in the sport.  Born and raised in Brooklyn, he started training at age 17. He capped off a successful amateur career by capturing the United States Amateur Title in 1992. Later that year, Briggs made his professional debut and was undefeated in his first 25 fights. His record is 60–6–1 (1) and he holds the record for the most first-round knockouts of any heavyweight champions in history with 35. During his career, Shannon has locked gloves with legends such as George Foreman, Lenox Lewis, Sergei Liakhovich and Vitali Klitchko, among others. Briggs ultimate goal in boxing is to become a three-time world heavyweight champion following in the footsteps of the only two legends to achieve it, Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield.

Throughout the course of his career, Briggs endured bouts of depression, anxiety and severe pain resulting from the injuries sustained during fights. Though he found the pain difficult to manage at times, Briggs fought his way through, discovering an alternative wellness regiment that helped him to become stronger both mentally and physically.  As a result, he found a purpose: to help other athletes and people who suffer from mental and physical ailments manage the pain by offering an alternative treatment approach. This spiritual awakening led Briggs to pursue various business ventures outside of the ring.

“In addition to being excited about getting in the ring, I am also proud to launch my new business which will help athletes who suffer from the same type of pain issues that I do,” added Briggs.

Briggs newest business venture is Champ RX LLC.  ChampRX plans to launch an alternative health and wellness line of CBD products that are 100% THC free. ChampRX has already partnered with several professional sports teams and organizations to enable research on how CBD products can help with CTE and other brain disease and damage caused by traumatic head injuries. The product line will be available to consumers in early 2018.

Shannon Briggs