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
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
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.