Tracy Byrd (boxer)
Tracy Byrd enjoyed athletics since she was a young child. She excelled in high school as a basketball player. Her brothers Antoine and Chris, however, inspired her into trying out boxing, so she began to attend the Byrd boxing gym, owned by her father.
On her first professional fight, August 6, 1996, the then 32 year old boxer beat Sue Chase by a decision in four rounds in Flint. Her first three fights were held in Flint, and she earned first round knockouts in professional fights number two and three.
Her fourth fight, a rematch with Chase on January 28, 1997, took place just outside of Flint, in Detroit. Byrd again outpointed Chase over four rounds.
After beating Dee Dufoe by decision in six in what turned out to be her first fight held outside Michigan (the fight was held in Indio, California), Byrd was given the opportunity to challenge for a world championship for the first time: On August 2, 1997, she defeated defending champion Nora Daigle to become the IFBA world Lightweight champion, in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Byrd retained the title on October 24 with a fourth round knockout of Bethanny Payne in New Jersey. After this fight, and since Byrd continued undefeated in nine fights, Byrd was given some attention by boxing magazines such as The Ring and KO. But, on her second defense, held on June 30, 1998, she lost her title, and her undefeated mark, to Russian Zulfia Koutdoussova, who, as a consequence, inherited the media attention that Byrd was receiving.
Byrd rebounded with three consecutive decision wins, and she was given a second chance at becoming a world champion, when she met Laura Serrano of Mexico on September 2, 1999. She lost by a ten round decision in Tunica, Mississippi, for the WIBF's world Lightweight title.
Byrd then took off two years from boxing, deciding to lose weight and return as a Junior Lightweight in 2001. Initially, she had success fighting at a lower weight class, conquering the vacant IFBA intercontinental title with a ten round unanimous decision over Brenda Vickers on May 19, at Ignacio, Colorado.
Her next fight was for the IFBA world Featherweight title, on July 7. She lost that world championship bid, being outpointed over ten rounds by Layla McCarter. This was the beginning of a five fight losing streak for Byrd. All those fights were lost by decision, and they included two more losses to McCarter, another loss to Koutdoussova, and a defeat at the hands of Isra Girgrah.
Despite losing five times in a row, she was given yet another world title chance, when, on March 22, 2003, she faced Agnieszka Rylik for the WIBO world Jr. Welterweight title. Byrd became a world champion for the second time, when she defeated Rylik by a ten round split decision in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Byrd has a record of thirteen wins, seven losses and one draw, with four wins by knockout, she has not been knocked out as a professional.