Byrd vs. Povetkin: Does Chris Have Enough Left To Beat Alexander?

By Boxing News - 10/24/2007 - Comments

Former WBO/IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd (40-3-1, 21 KOs) goes up against Alexander Povetkin 13-0, 10 KOs), former 2004 Olympics Gold medal winner in the super heavyweight, this Saturday iat the Messehalle, Erfurt, in Thüringen, Germany. The bout is a box off for the fight to fight IBF heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. At 28, Povetkin is considered by many to the the best heavyweight prospect in the division, despite being somewhat undersized at only 6’2. He doesn’t have a lot of power, either, but he makes up for it by throwing a lot of punches and avoiding the incoming fire from his opponents. At this early point in his career, Povetkin appears to be being brought along a bit too fast for his own good, because he doesn’t seem to be even near Wladimir Klitschko in ability, size or power, something that will be found out should Povetkin get by Byrd on Saturday.

Most boxing experts safely assume that Povetkin will easily beat the 37-year old Byrd, whom has only fought once since losing his IBF heavyweight title by 7th round TKO to Wladimir Klitschko in April 2006. Even before then, Byrd was on the downward slope of his career, struggling to beat his last four opponents Fres Oquendo, DaVarryl Williamson, Andrew Golota, Jameel McCline, leading up to Byrd’s slaughter at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko. Byrd, once a crafty defensive artist, known for making his opponents miss and look bad, has been remarkably easy to hit since 2003.

He still uses all the head movements and shoulder rolls like before, to be sure, but it’s in slow motion now, and most of his opponents have had little problems timing him and finding his head for pin point shots. In the past, Byrd usually did well against big punchers, the type that would swing for the fences in every shot, someone like Vitali Klitschko. However, Povetkin is the opposite of Klitschko, preferring to throw short contact shots, piling up points as if it were an amateur bout. Povetkin knows he doesn’t have monstrous power, so he doesn’t even try to load up with his shots. Another factor that Povekin has in his favor is his short arms, which allow his to fight in close with his opponents where he has very good accuracy with his punches. Of course, against a huge heavyweight like Wladimir Klitschko, Povetkin will be in a world of hurt, but against the 6-foot Byrd, this should be as easy as shooting ducks.