Chris Byrd

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Chris Byrd
Statistics
Real name Chris Cornelius Byrd
Nickname(s) "Rapid Fire"
Rated at Light Heavyweight
Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Reach 74 in (188 cm)
Nationality United States American
Born (1970-08-15) 15 August 1970 (age 44)
Flint, Michigan
Stance Southpaw
Boxing record
Total fights 47
Wins 41
Wins by KO 22
Losses 5
Draws 1
No contests 0

Chris Cornelius Byrd (born August 15, 1970) is a retired professional boxer. Byrd is a former WBO and IBF heavyweight champion. He retired in 2009 at the age of 39, his record stands at 41-5-1 with 22 KO's.

He holds notable wins over Bert Cooper, Vitali Klitschko, David Tua, Evander Holyfield, Fres Oquendo and Jameel McCline.

Early life[edit]

Chris Byrd was the youngest of eight children growing up in Flint, Michigan. He began boxing at age 5, training in his father (Joe Sr.)'s Joe Byrd Boxing Academy. His father continued to train and manage Byrd as a professional. Byrd attended Flint Northwestern High School.

Amateur career[edit]

Byrd began competing in the ring at age 10, and compiled an impressive 275 wins in the amateur ranks. He was a three-time U.S. amateur champion (1989, 1991, and 1992). He was on the 1991 U.S. National boxing Team that became the first (and only) U.S. team to score a tie against the heralded Cuban team. Byrd won the silver medal in the 1992 Barcelona summer Olympics as a middleweight, losing to Cuba's Ariel Hernández in the final.

Amateur Highlights[edit]

Olympic medal record
Men's Boxing
Silver 1992 Barcelona Middleweight
  • Lost in the 1988 Olympic Trials at Light Welterweight, losing to eventual United States representative Todd Foster.
  • 1989 United States Amateur Light Middleweight Champion
  • 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle, lost to Torsten Schmitz (East Germany) on points, in Light Middleweight competition.
  • 1991 United States Amateur Middleweight Champion
  • 1991 World Championships, lost at Middlweight to Ramon Garbey (Cuba)
  • 1992 United States Amateur Middleweight Champion
  • 1992 Middleweight Gold Medalist at Canada Cup. Results were:
  • 1992 Qualified as a Middleweight at the Olympic Trials in Worcester, MA. Results were:
  • Captured the Middleweight Silver Medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Results were:

Professional career[edit]

1993-1998: Early Career[edit]

Byrd turned professional on January 28, 1993, knocking out 10 of his first 13 opponents. Byrd moved up to heavyweight three fights into his professional career.

Byrd remained undefeated for his first 26 fights, knocking off then-notable opponents like Phil Jackson, Lionel Butler, Uriah Grant, Bert Cooper, Craig Peterson, Frankie Swindell, Jimmy Thunder, undefeated Eliecer Castillo and Ross Puritty.

1999: Ibeabuchi Bout, Comeback Victories[edit]

However in 1999, Byrd's undefeated record came to a dead end when he fought undefeated Ike Ibeabuchi. With 48 seconds left in the fifth round, a left-handed bolo punch followed with a right hook sent Byrd to the canvas, face first.

2000:First World Title & Klitschko Brothers[edit]

During the last week of March 2000, Byrd was offered the chance to be the replacement (for Donovan Ruddock) against undefeated champion Vitali Klitschko in Berlin, Germany (Klitschko's adopted home country) for the WBO Heavyweight Title. He therefore had only seven days to prepare for the fight (not the customary 6–12 weeks). Byrd struggled greatly in the fight, trailing after nine rounds by scores of 88–83 (on two cards) and 89–82 (on one card), i.e. losing seven or eight of those rounds. However, Klitschko severely injured his shoulder and was unable to continue after the ninth round. The injury that Klitschko suffered was a torn shoulder rotator cuff, which required major surgery and a 7 month lay-off. Despite trailing on all three of the judges' scorecards, Byrd walked away the winner by a technical knockout due to the injury to Klitschko.

Six months later, Byrd was back in Germany to defend the title against Wladimir Klitschko, Vitali's younger, more agile brother. Twelve rounds later, Byrd had lost a lopsided unanimous decision and the WBO belt after being knocked down twice.

2001-2002: Comeback Victories & Second World Title[edit]

Byrd returned to the U.S., signed with Don King and beat Maurice Harris to win the United States Boxing Association heavyweight belt in Madison Square Garden. He was now a top-five contender for the IBF title. After winning his next match (a title defense against New Zealand's top contender David Tua) Byrd eventually received his mandatory shot at the vacant IBF world Heavyweight Championship against Evander Holyfield in Atlantic City. On December 14, 2002, Byrd won a unanimous decision and the IBF title.

2003-2005: Four Successful Title Defenses[edit]

Byrd has successfully defended the IBF belt against: Fres Oquendo in 2003 (match ended in a controversial win for Byrd in which most people felt Oquendo won), a highly entertaining draw with "Andrew" Golota and a decision win over friend Jameel McCline in 2004, and DaVarryl Williamson in 2005.

2006: Klitschko Rematch[edit]

On April 22, 2006, Byrd lost to Wladimir Klitschko in a fight for the IBF and IBO title. The fight took place at SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany. Byrd was heavily dominated throughout the fight, was down in the fifth, and again in the seventh. Referee Wayne Kelly stopped the fight after the second knockdown when Byrd had an open cut near his eyes. Klitschko won in a TKO

2007-2009: Povetkin Bout & Move to Cruiserweight[edit]

After losing to Alexander Povetkin, Byrd would drop about 40 pounds to return to the light heavyweight division. He fought Shaun George on May 16, 2008, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. Byrd was dropped by George in round one and rocked again in round two. George then hammered Byrd with his right hand at will, finally flooring Byrd twice in the ninth round. Byrd beat the count after the first knockdown, but was then battered down again and the bout was waved off by the referee.[1]

Retirement[edit]

Chris Byrd has officially announced that he will not be fighting anymore and therefore he confirmed his retirement.[2]

Other[edit]

Byrd hosts a weekly video podcast, entitled 'Byrd's Eye View', which showcases former boxers, and current professional and champion-level fighters.[3]

Additional information[edit]

Professional boxing record[edit]

41 Wins (22 knockouts), 5 Losses, 1 Draw [2]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Win 41-5-1 Germany Matthias Sandow TKO 4 (8) 21/03/2009 Baden-Württemberg Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Loss 40-5-1 United States Shaun George TKO 9 (10) 16/05/2008 Nevada Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 40-4-1 Russia Alexander Povetkin TKO 11 (12) 27/10/2007 Thuringia Messehalle, Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany IBF Heavyweight eliminatior.
Win 40-3-1 United States Paul Marinaccio RTD 7 (10) 18/04/2007 The Bahamas Clifford Park, Nassau, Bahamas
Loss 39-3-1 Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko TKO 7 (12) 22/04/2006 Baden-Württemberg SAP-Arena, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany For vacant IBO Heavyweight title. Lost IBF Heavyweight title.
Win 39-2-1 United States DaVarryl Williamson UD 12 01/10/2005 Nevada Events Center, Reno, Nevada, United States Retained IBF Heavyweight title.
Win 38-2-1 United States Jameel McCline SD 12 13/11/2004 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States Retained IBF Heavyweight title. Byrd down in the 2nd round.
Draw 37-2-1 Poland Andrew Golota PTS 12 17/04/2004 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States Retained IBF Heavyweight title.
Win 37–2 United States Fres Oquendo UD 12 20/09/2003 Connecticut Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, United States Retained IBF Heavyweight title.
Win 36–2 United States Evander Holyfield UD 12 14/12/2002 New Jersey Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Won vacant IBF Heavyweight title.
Win 35–2 United States Jeff Pegues TKO 3 (10) 08/06/2002 Michigan Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States
Win 34–2 New Zealand David Tua UD 12 18/08/2001 Nevada Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Retained USBA Heavyweight title. Final part of the IBF Heavyweight title eliminator.
Win 33–2 United States Maurice Harris UD 12 12/05/2001 New York Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States Won vacant USBA Heavyweight title.
Win 32–2 United States David Vedder UD 10 19/01/2001 Michigan Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States
Loss 31–2 Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko UD 12 14/10/2000 North Rhine-Westphalia Kolnarena, Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany Lost WBO Heavyweight title. Byrd down in round 9 and 11.
Win 31–1 Ukraine Vitali Klitschko RTD 9 (12) 01/04/2000 Germany Estrel Convention Center, Neukoelln, Berlin, Germany Won WBO Heavyweight title. Fight stopped due to Klitschko's injured shoulder.
Win 30–1 United States David Washington TKO 10 (10) 19/01/2000 Michigan Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States
Win 29–1 United States Val Smith KO 2 (10) 22/10/1999 Michigan Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Win 28–1 Cuba Jose Ribalta TKO 4 (10) 03/06/1999 Michigan Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States
Win 27–1 United States John Sargent TKO 2 (10) 08/05/1999 Mississippi Silver Star Casino, Philadelphia, Mississippi, United States
Loss 26–1 Nigeria Ike Ibeabuchi TKO 5 (10) 20/03/1999 Washington, D.C. Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma, Washington, United States
Win 26–0 United States Ross Puritty UD 10 14/07/1998 Mississippi Casino Magic, Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, United States
Win 25–0 Cuba Eliecer Castillo UD 10 30/05/1998 New Jersey Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 24–0 United States Derek Amos TKO 6 (10) 28/03/1998 New Jersey Boardwalk Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 23–0 Samoa Jimmy Thunder TKO 9 (10) 13/12/1997 Connecticut Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States
Win 22–0 United States Frankie Swindell UD 10 20/06/1997 New Jersey Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 21–0 United States Bert Cooper UD 10 18/03/1997 Michigan IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 20–0 Australia Craig Petersen TKO 6 (10) 28/01/1997 Michigan The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Win 19–0 United States Levi Billups UD 10 08/10/1996 Michigan IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 18–0 Jamaica Uriah Grant UD 10 06/08/1996 Michigan IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 17–0 Austria Biko Botowamungu UD 10 17/05/1996 Michigan Glen Stock Arena, Monroe, Michigan, United States
Win 16–0 United States Lionel Butler TKO 8 (10) 23/04/1996 Michigan The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States Butler down in the 7th and 8th rounds.
Win 15–0 United States Jeff Wooden UD 10 30/01/1996 Michigan The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Win 14–0 United States Phil Jackson UD 12 21/11/1996 Michigan The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Win 13–0 United States Nathaniel Fitch KO 7 (10) 03/10/1995 Michigan IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 12–0 United States Tim Puller TKO 5 (10) 18/07/1995 Michigan IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 11–0 United States Arthur Williams SD 10 23/05/1995 Michigan The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States Byrd knocked down in round 1 for the first time as a pro.
Win 10–0 United States Joel Humm RTD 4 (8) 26/04/1995 Michigan The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Win 9–0 United States Mike Rouse TKO 6 (12) 28/03/1995 Michigan IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 8–0 United States Frankie Hines TKO 2 (?) 06/01/1995 Virginia Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Win 7–0 United States Ron Gullette TKO 5 (?) 01/11/1994 Michigan Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 6–0 United States Waxxen Fikes TKO 4 (?) 04/10/1994 Michigan The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States
Win 5–0 United States Max Key KO 1 (?) 30/08/1994 Michigan Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 4–0 United States Gerard O'Neal TKO 2 (6) 07/06/1994 Michigan Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 3–0 United States Exum Speight UD 6 22/03/1994 Michigan Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 2–0 United States Mike Sullivan TKO 1 (?) 15/05/1993 Michigan Flint, Michigan, United States
Win 1–0 United States Gary Smith UD 6 28/01/1993 Michigan IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Previous champion
Vitali Klitschko
WBO World Heavyweight 16th Champion

April 1, 2000 - October 14, 2000

Next champion
Wladimir Klitschko


Previous champion
Lennox Lewis
IBF World Heavyweight 17th Champion

December 14, 2002 - April 22, 2006

Next champion
Wladimir Klitschko