Povetkin Stops Byrd in 11th Round TKO
Heavyweight challenger Alexander Povetkin (14-0, 11 KOs) won a hard fought grueling battle tonight, stopping former two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd in the 11th round at the Messehalle, Erfurt, in Thüringen, Germany. Both fighter’s faces were badly swollen and cut from the many blows they landed on each other over the course of the bout. The fight was pretty even until the 11th round when Povetkin hurt Byrd with a hard combination. He followed it up with more shots on the inside, winging hooks and backing Byrd up. However, Byrd was fighting back effectively, landing sharp combinations on the inside when his father, Joe Byrd, suddenly threw in the towel after Byrd got backed into a corner.
It seemed like a foolish move, but I wasn’t really surprised because Byrd’s father had done a poor job, I think, in his corner, giving him bad advice and forgetting important things, like putting his mouthpiece in before sending him out to fight. Povetkin looked decent but not anywhere near the amount of hype that has been strewn about by many of his fans. He dished out a lot of punishment, but he’s not a really heavy puncher and had to rely on throwing lots of punches. He had major problems all fight long landing his short punches, as when he would come in side, Byrd would dodge his shots, and hit him with fast punches to the head.
About midway of the fight, Povetkin began to concentrate more on landing body shots, which helped him a lot because he was able to land a high percentage of his shots and seemed to take a lot of the energy out of Byrd. That said, Byrd landed well in every round, and swelled up Povetkin’s jaw on his right side along with both of his eyes. It wasn’t the easy fight Povetkin expected to get and wasn’t anywhere near the two impressive bouts that Wladimir Klitschko had with Byrd.