T Nation

Byrd vs. Klitschko


#1

I didn't even realize this fight was today, but when I got back from my roadwork it was just starting, so I got to watch some good afternoon boxing.

I must say that I was very impressed with Klitschko. His footwork is still very awkward, and he seems to be falling backwards as he punches alot, but his straight right is quicker than I've ever seen it, and he seems to be a much smarter fighter than before.

The first round really set the stage for the whole fight. Byrd was not really able to get inside on Klitschko. More importantly, he seemed intent on parrying Klitschko's jabs instead of slipping them. I thought at the time that he was overcommitting to his parries, and that if and when Klitschko started hooking off his jab or shooting straight rights, Byrd would be in trouble. Also, Byrd did not seem strong enough to knock down Klitschko's punches. I really don't understand why - with his superior upper body movement - Byrd choose to stand right in front of Klitschko and parry his blows instead of trying to slip.

In the second round going forward, Byrd's overcommitment to his parries left him wide open for some sharp rights, and eventually same nice 2-3 combinations from Klitschko. The first knockdown came on a very quick 1-2 from Klitschko. Byrd showed great heart in lasting almost a full two minutes after the knockdown, and Klitschko was smart enough not to punch himself out as he did against Brewster.

I thought the eventual stoppage was a good one. Byrd definitely could have continued, but at that point he was impossibly behind on the cards, had a nasty cut over his eye, and had showed no ability to get to Klitschko or avoid his punches. Suddenly, Klitschko has to once again be considered one of the top heavyweights out there, while Byrd's career is likely over. His last fight - though a victory over Davarryl Williamson - was lackluster, and there will not be a whole lot of opponents lining up to offer him a chance at redemption. Perhaps he could fight a Ruiz or Brewster to try to earn himself another title shot. I always thought a fight with Toney would be fascinating from a technical standpoint too.


#2

One thing I found rather strange was that in the remaining time after the first knockdown in round 5, Byrd, instead of clinching, seemingly just stood there and let Klitschko unload.


#3

Dont get me wrong Klitschko is a good fighter...but this fight wasnt all that fair lol. Byrd is relatively unknown for a reason...hes just a decent fighter in a worl of decent heavy weights...in which case hes a natural middle weight. Klitschko towers over him....his reach was about the entire arm span of both arms for byrd lol. The whole fight Klitschko held is left arm out and held his head back...that really isnt allowed..Klitschko is a good fighter though...I just dont think he really has proven himself...he has fought a bunch of average fighters...including Brewster who knocked him out.

The real test is his jaw...as much as emanuel stewart doesnt want to admit...there are questions about his jaw. The real test will be when hes matched up against someone who can really hit hard...and when he gets hit hard if hes got the jaw to take it or if he doesnt...if he has the heart to get up. I will respect him then.

Call me old schooled or stupid...but watching that fight i respected Byrd 100% more even tho he got fucked up...why? because he took the blows...he got up the first time when most would stay down...just like you said tho he really couldnt get inside and do much...but he did stand up and take his shots and keep going..hes got heart. I just dont think Klitschko is tough enough to do the same when hes in the position of getting hit. I may be wrong..we will see.


#4

Actually, there are no longer questions about his jaw. They've all been answered. It's already been well established that he has a glass jaw.

Also, he already has been matched up with someone who hits hard: Samuel Peter, Brewster, etc.

Against Peter, he was knocked down 3 times, and kept coming back up. Against Corried Sanders, he was knocked down I think 4 times before the fight ended. He may not have much of a chin, but he definitely has a lot of heart.


#5

I didn't get to see the fight but the result is not surprising to me. This was an easy fight for Klitschko. I mean Byrd has almost zero punching power so Wlad didn't have to worry about being knocked out, he could just tee-off on the much smaller Byrd. Also, Byrd as been looking pretty old of late, he doesn't seem to have it anymore, I think his career is probably over now. All this to say that Klitschko has a meaningless title and this fight proved nothing, we already knew Wlad could beat Byrd. Now I'm hoping someone comes along to spice up this damned division cause most of the heavyweights out there stink with the possible exception of Calvin Brock who I am not very fond of anyways but you never know.


#6

It was a good fight for Wlad, and puts him right back in the mix. I still think Rahman is the man to beat, but Wlad has the tools to take him down if he can stay away from that right hand.