|Real name||Chris Cornelius Byrd|
|Rated at||Light heavyweight
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Reach||74 in (188 cm)|
15 August 1970 |
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
|Wins by KO||22|
Chris Cornelius Byrd (born August 15, 1970) is an American former professional boxer. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the WBO and IBF titles, as well as scoring notable wins over former champions Vitali Klitschko and Evander Holyfield.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Amateur career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 Retirement
- 5 Outside of the ring
- 6 Additional information
- 7 Professional boxing record
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
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.
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.
- 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:
1993-1998: early career
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
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, facing the Klitschkos
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.
2001–02: comeback victories, second world title
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.
2003–05: four successful title defenses
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
On April 22, 2006, Byrd faced Wladimir Klitschko for the second time. Byrd was making his fifth defense of his IBF title and the fight was also sanctioned by the International Boxing Organization for its title, which had been vacated upon the retirement of Lennox Lewis. 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
2007–09: Povetkin bout, move to cruiserweight
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 and 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.
Chris Byrd has officially announced that he will not be fighting anymore and therefore he confirmed his retirement.
Outside of the ring
Byrd hosts a weekly video podcast, entitled "Byrd's Eye View", which showcases former boxers as well as current professional and champion-level fighters.
- Byrd's hometown is Flint, Michigan, where he trained along with his brother Patrick Byrd and sister Tracy Byrd. Byrd's other sister, Laurie Byrd, is a professional basketball coach. Byrd is also a first cousin of Lamon Brewster, himself a former world heavyweight champion and two-time Klitschko opponent.
- Byrd's corner consisted entirely of family members
- Byrd made an appearance in the 2008 documentary Beyond the Ropes.
- Byrd also makes an appearance in the 2011 documentary Klitschko, in which he discusses his trio of title bouts with the brothers.
Professional boxing record
|47 fights, 41 wins (22 knockouts), 5 losses, 1 draw|
|Win||41-5-1||Matthias Sandow||TKO||4 (8)||21/03/2009||Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany|
|Loss||40-5-1||Shaun George||TKO||9 (10)||16/05/2008||Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||40-4-1||Alexander Povetkin||TKO||11 (12)||27/10/2007||Messehalle, Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany||IBF heavyweight eliminator|
|Win||40-3-1||Paul Marinaccio||RTD||7 (10)||18/04/2007||Clifford Park, Nassau, Bahamas|
|Loss||39-3-1||Wladimir Klitschko||TKO||7 (12)||22/04/2006||SAP-Arena, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany||For vacant IBO Heavyweight title
Lost IBF heavyweight title
|Win||39-2-1||DaVarryl Williamson||UD||12||01/10/2005||Events Center, Reno, Nevada, United States||Retained IBF heavyweight title|
|Win||38-2-1||Jameel McCline||SD||12||13/11/2004||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States||Retained IBF heavyweight title
Byrd down in round 2
|Draw||37-2-1||Andrew Golota||SD||12||17/04/2004||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States||Retained IBF heavyweight title|
|Win||37–2||Fres Oquendo||UD||12||20/09/2003||Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Retained IBF heavyweight title|
|Win||36–2||Evander Holyfield||UD||12||14/12/2002||Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Won vacant IBF heavyweight title|
|Win||35–2||Jeff Pegues||TKO||3 (10)||08/06/2002||Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States|
|Win||34–2||David Tua||UD||12||18/08/2001||Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Retained USBA heavyweight title
Final eliminator for IBF heavyweight title
|Win||33–2||Maurice Harris||UD||12||12/05/2001||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States||Won vacant USBA heavyweight title|
|Win||32–2||David Vedder||UD||10||19/01/2001||Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States|
|Loss||31–2||Wladimir Klitschko||UD||12||14/10/2000||Kolnarena, Cologne, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany||Lost WBO heavyweight title
Byrd down in rounds 9 and 11
|Win||31–1||Vitali Klitschko||RTD||9 (12)||01/04/2000||Estrel Convention Center, Neukoelln, Berlin, Germany||Won WBO heavyweight title
Fight stopped due to a shoulder injury sustained by Klitschko
|Win||30–1||David Washington||TKO||10 (10)||19/01/2000||Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States|
|Win||29–1||Val Smith||KO||2 (10)||22/10/1999||Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan, United States|
|Win||28–1||Jose Ribalta||TKO||4 (10)||03/06/1999||Soaring Eagle Casino, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States|
|Win||27–1||John Sargent||TKO||2 (10)||08/05/1999||Silver Star Casino, Philadelphia, Mississippi, United States|
|Loss||26–1||Ike Ibeabuchi||TKO||5 (10)||20/03/1999||Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma, Washington, United States|
|Win||26–0||Ross Puritty||UD||10||14/07/1998||Casino Magic, Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, United States|
|Win||25–0||Eliecer Castillo||UD||10||30/05/1998||Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||24–0||Derek Amos||TKO||6 (10)||28/03/1998||Boardwalk Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||23–0||Jimmy Thunder||TKO||9 (10)||13/12/1997||Foxwoods Resort, Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||22–0||Frankie Swindell||UD||10||20/06/1997||Bally's Park Place Hotel Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||21–0||Bert Cooper||UD||10||18/03/1997||IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||20–0||Craig Petersen||TKO||6 (10)||28/01/1997||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States|
|Win||19–0||Levi Billups||UD||10||08/10/1996||IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||18–0||Uriah Grant||UD||10||06/08/1996||IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||17–0||Biko Botowamungu||UD||10||17/05/1996||Glen Stock Arena, Monroe, Michigan, United States|
|Win||16–0||Lionel Butler||TKO||8 (10)||23/04/1996||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States||Butler down in the 7th and 8th rounds.|
|Win||15–0||Jeff Wooden||UD||10||30/01/1996||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States|
|Win||14–0||Phil Jackson||UD||12||21/11/1996||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States|
|Win||13–0||Nathaniel Fitch||KO||7 (10)||03/10/1995||IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||12–0||Tim Puller||TKO||5 (10)||18/07/1995||IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||11–0||Arthur Williams||SD||10||23/05/1995||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States||Byrd down in round 1; first professional knockdown|
|Win||10–0||Joel Humm||RTD||4 (8)||26/04/1995||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States|
|Win||9–0||Mike Rouse||TKO||6 (12)||28/03/1995||IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||8–0||Frankie Hines||TKO||2 (?)||06/01/1995||Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States|
|Win||7–0||Ron Gullette||TKO||5 (?)||01/11/1994||Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||6–0||Waxxen Fikes||TKO||4 (?)||04/10/1994||The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States|
|Win||5–0||Max Key||KO||1 (?)||30/08/1994||Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||4–0||Gerard O'Neal||TKO||2 (6)||07/06/1994||Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||3–0||Exum Speight||UD||6||22/03/1994||Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||2–0||Mike Sullivan||TKO||1 (?)||15/05/1993||Flint, Michigan, United States|
|Win||1–0||Gary Smith||UD||6||28/01/1993||IMA Center, Flint, Michigan, United States||Professional debut|
- "Chris Byrd: Nobody beats Wladimir Klitschko right now". eastsideboxing.com. Retrieved 26 February 2015. C1 control character in
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- "Chris Byrd". YouTube. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- "Beyond the Ropes (Video 2008)". IMDb. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
- Munch MaQuchi (21 October 2011). "Klitschko (2011)". IMDb. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
|WBO heavyweight champion
April 1, 2000 – October 14, 2000
|IBF heavyweight champion
December 14, 2002 – April 22, 2006