|Real name Chris Cornelius Byrd|
Weight 88 kg
Nickname(s) Rapid Fire
Name Chris Byrd
Spouse Tracy Byrd (m. 1993)
|Reach 74 in (188 cm)|
Role Professional Boxer
Parents Joe Byrd Sr.
Height 1.83 m
|Rated at Light heavyweight
Born 15 August 1970 (age 45) Flint, Michigan, U.S. (1970-08-15)
Siblings Tracy Byrd, Tim Byrd, Patrick Byrd
Similar People Lamon Brewster, Ike Ibeabuchi, Wladimir Klitschko, Corrie Sanders, Lennox Lewis
Chris byrd ibf heavyweight champion
Christopher Cornelius "Chris" Byrd (born August 15, 1970) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1993 to 2009. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion, having first won the WBO title in 2000 after an upset corner stoppage over then-undefeated Vitali Klitschko. In his first title defense later that year, he lost to Vitali's brother Wladimir Klitschko. In 2002, Byrd defeated Evander Holyfield to win the IBF heavyweight title for his second reign as world champion. He made four successful defenses until losing his title again to Wladimir Klitschko in a 2006 rematch. Byrd's cousin, Lamon Brewster, has a shared history with Wladimir Klitschko: Brewster defeated him in 2004, but lost in a 2007 rematch.
- Chris byrd ibf heavyweight champion
- Former heavyweight champion Chris Byrd talks about his life after Boxing
- Early life
- Amateur career
- Amateur highlights
- 1993–1998: early career
- 1999: Byrd vs. Ibeabuchi, comeback victories
- 2000: first world title, facing the Klitschkos
- 2001–2002: comeback victories, second world title
- 2003–2005: four successful title defenses
- 2006: Klitschko rematch
- 2007–2010: Povetkin bout, move to cruiserweight, and retirement
- Outside of the ring
- Additional information
As an amateur, Byrd represented the United States at the 1992 Summer Olympics and won a silver medal in the middleweight division. He is also a three-time national amateur champion, winning the light middleweight title in 1989, and the middleweight title in 1991 and 1992.
Former heavyweight champion Chris Byrd talks about his life after Boxing
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.
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: Byrd vs. Ibeabuchi, 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.
2001–2002: 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.
2003–2005: 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. Byrd's fight with Golota did 75,000 buys on Pay per View
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
2007–2010: Povetkin bout, move to cruiserweight, and retirement
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.
In 2010, Byrd officially announced his retirement from boxing.
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.