Chris Byrd vs. Wladimir Klitschko (2nd meeting)
2006-04-22 : Chris Byrd 213½ lbs lost to Wladimir Klitschko 241 lbs by TKO at 0:41 in round 7 of 12
- Location: SAP-Arena, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
- Referee: Wayne Kelly
- Judge: Roy Francis
- Judge: Steve Epstein
- Judge: Robert Hoyle
- Announcer: Michael Buffer
- Aired on: HBO
- International Boxing Federation Heavyweight Title (5th defense by Byrd)
- International Boxing Organization Heavyweight Title (Vacant title)
- Fight Poster
- Byrd was seconded by father and trainer Joe Byrd and by mother Rose Byrd.
- Klitschko was seconded by trainer Emanuel Steward and by older brother Vitali Klitschko. His cutman was Jacob Duran.
Klitschko dismisses Byrd in the seventh
Associated Press, April 23, 2006
BERLIN, Germany -- Wladimir Klitschko refused to let the rematch with Chris Byrd go the distance.
The Ukrainian stopped Chris Byrd in the seventh round of a one-sided fight Saturday to gain the IBF heavyweight title.
Klitschko's right hook finished off the American 41 seconds into the round, the second time Byrd was floored in the fight.
The rematch was similar to their first encounter in October 2000. Byrd also lost that bout, although he survived two knockdowns on his way to losing a decision.
This time around Klitschko -- executing trainer Emanuel Steward's strategy flawlessly -- finished off Byrd early. It began in the third round when Byrd, dropping his hands for a second, took a pair of hard left-right combinations from the 6-foot-6 Klitschko that shook him up.
"It was like a musician playing notes," Klitschko said. "Everything we trained worked."
After the fight, Klitschko first went to speak to his beaten rival, then to Byrd's trainer and father, Joe.
"He should be proud -- I have never seen anybody take that much punishment and come back," Klitschko said. "They are a great family."
In the fifth round, Byrd climbed to his feet after being knocked down then withstood a barrage of shots. He took a beating for more than a minute as 14,500 spectators roared until Klitschko backed off. Byrd waved his gloves at Klitschko, telling his opponent to come at him.
"He's a fighter with a big, big heart," Klitschko said. "But he provoked me."
The 35-year Byrd had made four successful defenses of the belt he won from Evander Holyfield in 2002. He was the longest reigning of the four heavyweight champions.
"I never hit him, not the way he hit me," Byrd said. "I was just so pumped up for the fight, it got the better of me. If I had to do it again I would go in there with a different strategy, but Wladimir will be hard to beat. He is very talented for a big man."
Byrd said he will have to decide if he wants to continue his career. He was taken to the hospital after the post-fight news conference for X-rays on his swollen face.
"I will talk to the wife," he said. "I enjoy this a lot, of course not when you're pounded like that."
Klitschko (46-3, 41 KOs) has now resurrected his career. After being knocked out by Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, he started his comeback by beating favored Nigerian Samuel Peter in October.
"It is very important to know both sides," said Klitschko, 30.
"I enjoyed a lot of success in my early years, then come the tough years."
Byrd acknowledged that Steward, who has trained more than 30 world champions, put together a smart plan for Klitschko. During the first fight the Ukrainian used his six-inch height advantage and jabbed from outside until Byrd's eye swelled shut.
Since then, the 6-foot Byrd has beaten some big men such as Andrew Golota and Jameel McCline, and Steward this time around had Klitschko use his left arm to keep Byrd off balance.
"Byrd didn't fight Wladimir, he fought his left arm. He never saw the rights coming," Steward said.
Klitschko became the third fighter from the former Soviet Union to win a heavyweight title in four months. Russian Nikolai Valuev took John Ruiz's WBA belt and Sergei Liakhovich of Belarus won Brewster's WBO crown. That leaves Hasim Rashman as the only American champion.
"I don't care where people come from. It is not important to me. If you are good people will like you, if you are not, they won't. It is simple," Klitschko said. 
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