The CyberBoxingZone News

Francis Walker

March 30, 2000

On Saturday, April 1, at the Estrel Convention Center in Berlin, Germany, Dr. Vitali Klitschko, the unrecognized WBO heavyweight champion, will defend his title against Chris Byrd, former 165-pound, Silver Medalist at 1992 Barcelona Olympic games.

The bout, promoted by Universum Boxing Promotions, will be televised live on HBO Sports, via tape-delay at 11p.m. Est/10 p.m. CET.

In 27 professional contests, Klitschko has only fought a total of 69 rounds.

"Not even former world champions Mike Tyson (74 rounds) and Riddick Bowe (79 = rounds) were able to shorten their work the same way," according to one sourse. "Vitali Klitschko scored knockdowns against all of his opponents except for only two: Dick Ryan (received several standing eight counts) and Obed Sullivan (retired between rounds nine and ten)"

At 6' 8," 245-pounds, Klitschko has an 85% knockout-rating (23 of 27) with 83% of his knockdowns (43 of 52) having occurred in the first three rounds.

In the second round, Klitschko has scored 15 knockouts and 23 knockdowns.

Overall, Klitschko is a perfect 100%. 27 Fights, 27 Wins, 27 KOs scoring 52 Knockdowns in 69 Professional Rounds for an average of 2.6 rounds-per-fight.

Klitschko will indeed have his hands full when he meets Byrd, a 30-year-old sothpaw fighter from Flint, Michigan.

With a record of 30-1, 18KOs, Byrd is ranked in the top-10 by the major sanctioning bodies -- including No. 10 by the IBF.

Among some of the biggest names Byrd has fought are Ross Purity; the same fighter who beat Vitali's younger brother, Wladimir. In addition to Lionel Butler, Jimmy Thunder, Bert Cooper, Phil Jackson, and former 190-pound champions Arthur Williams and Uriah Grant, Byrd is also recognized as one of the fasted men in boxing.

Byrd's sole career loss occured in March 1999 when he was KO'd terribly by African sensation, Ike Ibeabuchi, who is still the only fighter to have defeated IBF No. 1 contender, David Tua in June 1997.

Byrd's blazing hand-speed and awkward, "side-angle-side," movements could give Klitschko problems, but one thing Byrd lacks as a fast 215-pound heavyweight is power.

Byrd only has a 60% knockout percentage in 31 fights.

Klitschko-Byrd could be more entertaining than what most people think. otherwise, HBO probably would not have even bothered to televise the fight for their viewers. Nonetheless though, should Byrd fail to do something magnificent, don't expect him to win.


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