Chris Byrd vs Vitali Klitschko

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1st of April, 2000..........Berlin, Germany WBO Heavyweight World Championship

Larry Merchant was NEVER more wrong in his life when he said "Vitali doesn't have what it takes to be a champion!" Had he kept fighting and permanently injured his shoulder, we would have been denied years and years of his performances.
Don't take anything away from Byrd.  He fought a good fight with a lot of heart.  What is he supposed to do when the other guy quits?  But don't shit on Vitali either.  He had a bad injury that he had to have repaired... his career might've been much shorter if he fought on.  In later fights we saw how much heart he has.
Double M
Byrd shouldn't be happy he was losing this fight and got lucky
Heavyweightboxing Fan
The fight was scored 89-82 to Vitali when it was stopped, because of a detached shoulder. Chris Byrd would of had no chance against Vitali if he was healthy, as Wladimir proved.
Gitfiddle 7766
I like Byrd jabbing and throwing the left to the chest. That's a lost art form. The power shot to the chest. Boxers now a days don't know how effective the shot to the chest is. It takes your breath away.
Tore his rotator cuff, couldn't continue. Vitali was way ahead on the scorecard.
Daniel Garcia
Larry acting like he could last 2 rounds with a decent heavyweight champion I bet he can't even last one round with Byrd having one eye and having one arm behind his back. Well maybe if Larry was 50 years younger I think he'd be able to kick his ass
Flat out chris Byrd fought a good courageous fight against a wounded champion. Klit 100 healthy may have got a stopage. But you have to give Byrd credit for standing up to that right hand I wish more American heavyweights had Byrds heart.
That announcer is a butt mongus. He reminds me of Howard Cosell. "Yeah, he doesn't have the heart of a champion." Really? That's why he's held the title longer than anyone since Larry Holmes? Duh......
Personally if I was Vitali I would of just tried to hold onto Byrd for most of the remainder of the fight and just get it over with but it's easier said than done also I have a feeling that if Klitschko was American there's no way he would of been slandered so much for quitting by HBO.
Ingemar Kenyatta
If a Black heavyweight gave up on the stool in this fashion, Merchant would have been MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more hostile and confrontational in the interview. This is the bias that is in the blood of American boxing.
Stephen Ireland
Chris was totally unready for this fight with only 7days training so JESUS stepped in.
Larry Merchant said something interesting. Vitali has a PHD and Chris Byrd does not have any degree. Vitali understood the risks and decided not to take it and he's college educated. Had his boxing career not worked out, he wouldn't go hungry. Fighting with a dislocated (as we later found out) shoulder is a lot to expect from a man who has other means of supporting himself AND is fighting a guy he will get no credit for beating. WHY RISK IT?
Wario's Gold Coin
[2000-04-01] Vitali Klitschko vs. Chris Byrd - WBO world heavyweight championship. [Berlin, Germany] Chris Byrd of the U.S.A was a very late replacement opponent instead of original title challanger Donovan "Razor" Ruddock of Canada. During the last week of March 2000, Byrd was offered the chance to be fighting for the WBO world heavyweight title as the replacement (for Donovan Ruddock) against undefeated champion Vitali Klitschko in Berlin, Germany. He therefore had only seven days to prepare for the big fight. You have to give Chris "Rappid Fire" Byrd a lot of credit for his heavyweight career. Originaly a middleweight fighter in his amature days (won Silver in the Olympic games 1992), but then decided he wanted to go on and fight as a small heavyweight in the PRO's. Chris Byrd fought his best career as a heavyweight and fought men MUCH bigger, much stronger, heavier, longer reaches etc. Despite all physical dissadvantages, Byrd was like a fast moving rock with a great defence combined with a smooth counter punching work that made it most difficult to deal with for any heavyweight. Look at Vitali Klitschko in this fight for example. He have ALL physical advantages but couldent fully get to Byrd and was uncertain how he should properly attack his smaller challanger. His younger brother Wladimir did a better job afterwards but also only could point defeat Byrd. (Yeah the 2nd fight froim 2006 is another story). Chris Byrd was a well schooled boxer with a lot of heart and a GREAT person outside the ring as well, just a nice guy. Thumbs up for Chris Byrd!!!
Mike Cisarik
Stfu larry merchant. You have no idea what the boxer felt so as usual your comments are idiotic.
Bill Patrick Jones
Chris Byrd seriously impressed me in this fight. He's fighting a guy who's practically a whole division bigger than him. He was tough, skillful and clever. If he had the power of David Haye he could have been a brilliant heavyweight champion. In fact the way Byrd fought here puts Haye's performance against Wladimir to shame.
Chris Byrd took this fight on ten days notice, originally Vitali was going to fight Donovan Ruddock.
Zanzibar Breeze
Vitali very courageous in defeat to Lewis... after the fight was stopped...  Lil' Chris proved  a point here.. Vitali a little shy under the left  tit..
Ismail Abdelirada
I can understand Klitschko withdrawing in order to avoid further injury to a dislocated shoulder, but I cannot understand why he took the fight under those conditions anyway. If you have a pre-existing injury that you have reason to think might prevent you from completing a fight, your *first* responsibility is to have it treated before fighting again. Vitali didn't do that, and it cost him a championship and tainted his reputation.
Cesar Flores
Tho Vitali lost alot of respect from fans in this fight, he gained immeasurable respect in his effort vs Lewis.
Emma Deeba
Let’s give Byrd the credit he deserves, started off a middleweight and ended up defeating an 6ft8 giant Ukrainian. Took the fight at short notice as well! He rolled the dice and the hard work payed off! Well done
Dear mr.Merchant so what , what??' i wanted to see you fighting a boxing match without using your  best hand...only one round in that condition can be devastating and Byrd (very lucky) was taking big advantage
I seen Vitali much better than this.  It was a close fight; I thought Vitali got the edge in a lot of early rounds but Byrd kept it close.  Byrd is a very crafty fighter with a solid skill set.  He doesn't have big power but he knows how to fight. At Vitali's size the advantage can go both ways.  Positive is obviously when he can use his size to his advantage and keep boxers on the outside but disadvantage is his speed, especially as the fight progresses Vitali slows down.  I've seen Vitali deal with this and get really good at pacing himself. Without great speed there's no way Vitali can consistently beat some of the old legends.  Without speed a huge fighter is just a bigger target.
His brother isn’t near as good
Martin Kove
vitali was unbeaten. both fights he ''lost'' he was imjured and led the scorecards by a huge margin.
Rhyce Turner
I jad it 5-3-1 for klitschko at the timr of the stoppage. Byrd was coming on strong though so I think he woukd have ended up stopping klitschko in the 12th anyways
We dont know what he was feeling, but klitschkos have a history of crumbling under adversity. His brother especially with sanders and brewster .... got hit and mentally and physically collapsed. So much that his style evolved around not getting hit at all because of the extreme fear of it all. And his latest 'performance' against fury, where he couldnt figure out the awkward style so just gave up. When they are winning easy fights against bums they shine, as soon as adversity hits them they fall into pieces.
Jon M
Byrd's defense was excellent. I feel that he deserved better on the scorecards.
Good for Chris Byrd. He seems to be a respectable guy. I think this is near the top of his best achievements.
People don't give Byrd enough credit for this one, Quitschko openly stated in an interview after the fight that it was a punch in the 2nd or 3rd round from Byrd that caused the injury. Byrds body work was vastly underrated throughout his career. Holyfield and Marinaccio also both complained of shoulder pain from Byrds body attack, I believe Marinaccio also retired on his stool like Vitali. It's a shame Chris didn't have alot of snap on his shots but considering the lack of power he made a nice little career out of his peek-a-boo style. His fights with Tua and McCline where fantastic.
Ikechi Anya
what was the word the commentator used? ostrophorous or something like that?
A prime Lewis would smashed Klitschko to pieces
45:56  lol
Anthony Sefo
I wouldn't be happy if the other guy stopped because of injury lol
Lucky Underwood
I like when people make excuses for Vitali no be a man fight no excuses. So if Chris quit you call him a coward? That's what I thought excuses for Vitali. Yeah Chris won what others may say a cheap win...Well that is not Chris fault when Vitali quit the match....
John Smith
Vitali was legit injured. He could have gone 3 rounds and not thrown a punch and still won. Still in hindsight, stopping the fight was correct.
Ny Jeep Adventurer
Chris Byrd is somewhat of a footnote in boxing. However, he deserves his credit and due as a fighter. Had he been better handled, had more "matched" fights against "opponents" his career as a heavyweight would have a greater impact during his era. Byrd could not match himself against hard punchers of this division at this time. I always believed that as a cruiser-weight and light-heavyweight Byrd could have had a great future as a champion. In the same vein, imagine if Evander Holyfield stayed at cruiser-weight and never had to face guys like Riddick Bowe?
Byrd might have beaten Tyson at this point in time
Ernesto Che Guevara
The translation in the end of the fight is not exacly right translator sucks
Vitali was exposed here! TKO'd by a featherfisted nobody!
Mikail Magomed
Vitali No Mas Klitchko
Santiago Katzenstein
I laught at the guys here sayin Kitschko had a lot of heart here He quit He has no heart He was even winning Go and check danny williams fight
remmy L
Byrd had vital I whiffing a lot,he must have been flustered
Klitschko was way ahead. Byrd fights like a well paid sparring partner. A spoiler who does land slaps and smears, often without a foot touching the ground, not punches. Even with all that, klitschko couldn’t be resourceful enough to fake it through a couple of rounds cocking his right.....shoot, if he pursued Byrd without punching Byrd would lead anyway. I liked Vitali. A bright guy. Interesting guy. But between this and the PED issue, my opinion of him as a fighter is compromised.
Sven ausHH
The good thing for Vitali is that he was retired from the World Association WBC as a so-called "Champion Emeritus". This means that he would "NOT" have to box up in the rankings in a comeback, but could start immediately in the status of a world champion. As he once did when he returned to the World Cup throne in October 2008 after three years and ten months.
I O.L.
Byrd looks like a MR. SMITH of MATRIX
Chris Byrd=one of the most underrated heavyweights of the 90s.
Byrd was pushing him, he knows he was going to coast the rest of the way. Guys breaks hands ect all the time. You have to solve that puzzle by using your talents and attributes to overcome adversity.
CK Kennard
Zero heart from Vitali! He had zero in the tank and was staring down a knockout soon by a fighter MUCH smaller. Theres no wincing or grimacing in pain at ANY point in this fight.
bangaly koita
The best win all the time
peter iu
Byrd made Klitchko quit 🙎‍♂️🤦‍♂️
Worse announcers ever. Coke head drunk woman beating lampley and jealous of the brothas Larry yell
Look how V.Klitschko gets in trouble when finds an opponent that has speed and is able to break into his guard
Timothy Tonole
If Byrd had fought Evander or Tyson when he was young we'd of seen what he was made of. He'd already started slowing down at this point
Deema Zoloto
technics beats bully, i am ukraine, klitschko is gang, danny william and etc fought with broken jaw etc soo,
Announcers talk too much
Just go a few more rounds ad throw with one hand.
This fight reminds me how much I liked Byrd as a fighter and how much I disliked the entire HBO commentary team. The Klitchko era was the ruin of boxing. They were the most boring, safety first heavyweight champions in history. And I didn't know that they were also juicing. I had a feeling, but now I know...Lampley said that drug testing was the reason the didn't make it to the Olympics.
Ric Macphedear
please, this is science, ok, who wins this battle of the brains, the question is Byrd a real scientific fighter or a damn chump????? the voters may or may not know this, brain factor
What's most remarkable about this upset is that Byrd was suffering from a runny bottom due to catching a stomach bug in Germany during the week of the fight, which is why he only weighed in at 210lbs!
big b
wow , may be byrd is best defensive boxer . even he was smaller, the way he fought against holyfield and vitali is amazing. they was looking like amateur against him.
Seriously injured and Merchant, a guy who has never fought a day in his life, judging him for quitting.
Klitschko's jab was pretty useless in this fight. He could've landed it over and over if he would've stopped pawing it.
eric burhed
Klitschko brothers are so dam boring to watch
James Aitken
Chris Byrd fought a pretty smart fight. he deserved the result
Da Bearz
I have had my shoulder injured to the pnt that I couldn't lift that arm and I can promise u that I would have fought on with one hand and defense; vitali was throwing punches at byrd his shoulder hurt so bad; give Byrd his credit, he was full of heart and very crafty
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Valentino Falcon
it might have hurt,but i dont think he wants to get ko by lil guy
Shaun Butler
dude did a great job of quickly getting in, taking advantage of the recovery time of those lanky klitscho arms
Michal LU
Vitali was tied after round 9. Byrd was better technical defense skills, than Vitali. He blocked and hitting down knocks. Vitali has weak stomach.
what was the drug issue with Klitschko ?
Carl Newhouse
Byrd seemed like a very OK guy in the interview. Props to both fighters.
fish fingers
Byrd fought a great fight, I dont now what Merchant was drinking..!
knee gro lose
This crowd is dead, and they keep celebrating ever time Byrd throws a punch and misses. At least that's what I've noticed through the first four rounds.
duke em
bird man i like u man. alsum to watch,.
Cesar Flores
Lampley saying Byrd got a gift is hogwash. Vitali is a great champion, physically and mentally strong, but since the 4th round, Byrd was in the fight. Regardless of Vitali being injured or not, Byrd deserved this win. Vitali had a chance to knock him out early, but he couldn't so no excuses. Byrd deserves all the respect.
Fix, fix, fix.....
Byrd is a great opponent for other boxers looking to put in a good performance, get some rounds of work, and inflate their record... except when bird puts in the same performance, lol. Seriously, I always liked Byrd, especially because in the bigger fights he's the underdog, and I love that he has some defensive flare. The guy actually keeps his guard up! I never saw his power develop, but I believe he's a total professional, gives promoters a quality fight.
Vitali is the best
I can't tell if Byrd was rocked near the end of the 9th or if he was just trying to get Vitali to over-commit
Blade Brown
Vitali has like 44 lbs over bird and 8 inch height advantage
Vitali just ouit ?
aaron pryor
What a weakling vitali was LMAO
Saleh Harris
Bad Hand my Ass. He was being walked down by the smaller man and he couldn't tough it out for 2 more rounds. Now that he lost his should was hurt now he is explaining his self. why fight if you knew your should was hurt.
Rich Thomas
Byrd fighting style is ridiculous don't know how he had it to heavyweight
August Wind
He suddenly had English amnesia. 
Just think wat my boy Marciano would do to borin ass Clits Ko's easy work.
Rackball Jones
Byrd KTFO Vitali!
Lisa Schneider
Byrd´s boxing style remembers me on Jimmy Young.
Jeff Boxing
good fight. Byrd was doing some good things, catching the jab, using the ring, slipping, changing levels trying to setup inside, Vitali parried shots doubled up his jab to set up combinations, cut off the ring, was able to land his right hand hit the body. Shame it ended like it did, Vitali is highly skilled he was outboxing Byrd through the majority of the fight.
There it is, right at the beginning: "Klitschko was derailed by a last-minute drug test." Not only is he a quitter, but a drug cheat. He's probably still roiding today.
blind poet38
I'm from the USA, and good for Byrd, but who will be regarded as the best hvywght from 2000 to 2013? Wlad. He is the central hvywght boxer in the division. He makes the most money. And everyone wants to fight him.
Charlie Duran
Yeah, Chris Byrd was a real bomber
Jay Zee
What was the failed drug test about?
I am proud to come from the same country as Klitchko. You are jealous and ignorant. You can hate all day long, because there is nothing left in you but HATE. Sitting in front of the screen and trash talk is easy. Would love to see you in the ring.
Double M
no he isn't
Americans like you only hate him because he beats all American losers. That's why, be a man and admit it.
Micheal Ulner
LMFAO byrd got ROCKED by both brothers hah!!