Boxing


Chris Byrd To Box At Cruiserweight On Klitschko-Gomez Card?

14.03.09 - by James Slater - Former heavyweight champ Chris Byrd told us he was looking at continuing his career after his disastrous fight against Shaun George. Losing at light-heavyweight, when George gave him a sustained beating before eventually stopping him in the 9th round of a fight that was a tough one to watch at times, Byrd was attempting to revitalise his career at the lower weight after having battled with much bigger heavyweights over the previous fifteen or so years..

Coming back at 175 after suffering losses in two of his last three bouts at heavyweight - being stopped in the 7th by Wladimir Klitschko, thus losing his IBF belt, and being stopped in the 11th by Alexander Povetkin - Byrd said he felt great. Now, for the first time in well over a decade, Byrd would be in with guys his own size. As we all saw, however, the once crafty southpaw known as "Rapid Fire" was nothing but an empty shell of a former talent back in May.

Calls for the likeable fighter from Flint, Michigan were heard from all corners, yet Byrd said God told him it was all right for him to pursue his career - and now, on the Vitali Klitscho-Juan Carlos Gomez card next Saturday (March 21st) in Germany, Byrd will box again. This time (according to BoxRec) the 38-year-old will try his hand as a cruiserweight. Though the feeling that he should be relaxing at home today with all further thoughts of tempting his luck in the ring long gone will not have changed, Byrd seems determined to give it one more go. At least he will not be matched in any way tough next Saturday.

One Ralf Riemer, a 24-year-old cruiserweight from Germany, will be Byrd's latest comeback foe, and at just 8-6-2(4) Byrd shouldn't have too many problems with him. The veteran SHOULDN'T have too many problems, but at the same time we just don't know if there is anything left at all. Against George, Byrd looked weak and his punch resistance was poor. Watching the fight on TV, most felt for sure the smart-minded boxer would see sense and hang 'em up.

Who knows how far Byrd thinks he can go as a cruiserweight, but with the help of the Klitschkos, who are willing to have him on their under-cards, he's going to try and find out. It seems a long, long time ago now, but Byrd once defeated the man who tops the bill in Stuttgart on March 21st. Now a faded and 40-5-1(21) ex-champ, Byrd should really be doing nothing more than commentating on the action.

It's very hard to make a call as to how Byrd-Riemer will go, as we just don't know what Byrd has left inside. However, the 24-year-old who has boxed almost his entire career in his homeland, was stopped in just 32-seconds by Jonathon Banks two years ago. Byrd was never a puncher, but if he can't stop Riemer, or, even worse, if he cannot even beat him, the writing will surely be on the wall.

Article posted on 14.03.2009



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