Former heavyweight boxer Shannon Briggs was ordered to pay $2 million to former University of Miami lineman Brian Stinson for breaking his eye socket during a nightclub fight in 2001. Jurors on Friday sided with Stinson, who said his football career was cut short because of the injuries. "This was not a fight,'' said Stinson's lawyer, Ken Padowitz. "This was a brutal beating.'' A doctor testified that Stinson has limited vision in his left eye. The player was forced to miss scouting camps and now works as a counselor at a university in Washington. Briggs said he would appeal. I am a big target and people think I have big pockets,'' he said. "It was a football party and I was a boxer. I shouldn't have been there.''
Stinson, twenty-seven, testified that he began chatting with an unidentified woman at the bar after he arrived with a group of Hurricane players. He said Briggs berated her and then cursed him, shoving him through a door into an alley. Stinson said when he tried to return, Briggs punched him. "All I could see were fists, and it was awful,'' he testified.
The thirty-three-year-old Briggs countered that he was leaving the club when a woman called his name. He tried talking to her but was rebuffed by Stinson and Miami defensive end Quincy Hipps. After some shoving, bouncers tossed Stinson into the alley. Briggs said Stinson returned and tried to tackle him.
Briggs has twenty-five first-round knockouts during a twelve-year boxing career. He earned a twelve-round majority decision over two-time heavyweight champ George Foreman in 1997, causing Foreman to retire at the time. The next year, Briggs was stopped in the fifth round by Lennox Lewis.