Byrd says he doesn’t see anyone beating Wladimir Klitschko, including Haye
By William Mackay: Former two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd (41-5-1, 22 KO’s) says he doesn’t see any of the current heavyweights out there beating IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (54-4-1, 48 KO’s) right now, not even WBA heavyweight champion David Haye.
In an interview at Eastside Boxing’s On the Ropes program, Byrd had this to say about Wladimir Klitschko: “Nobody beats Wladimir Klitschko right now. It’s a hard match-up [talking about Wladimir vs. David Haye]. I mean, David Haye is my height, six one and a half, I think they got him listed at 6’3”. When you get in the ring with Wladimir Klitschko, you truly realize that’s a big man you’re fighting. Now with Emanuel Steward [Wladimir’s trainer], the height and reach thing – if you look at Wladimir earlier in his career, he was looking for the knockout. Now, he systematically breaks you down with the jab, makes his height and reach work for him, makes the smaller fighter work hard to get past his jab, and once you get past the jabs, he’s going to use the right hand and he takes a step back and he uses his reach.”
I had a feeling that Haye wasn’t a legit 6’3” when I saw him in his fight with 6’4” Enzo Maccarinelli. Haye looked at least 2+ inches shorter than Maccarinelli and that made me question the 6’3” height that Haye has listed. Byrd has Wladimir’s style pegged. He knows if first hand considering he twice fought Wladimir during his career, losing the first fight by a lopsided 12 round decision in October 2000 and then losing by a 7th round TKO to Wladimir in the rematch held in April 2006.
In both cases, Wladimir defeated Byrd and captured the titles that Byrd had in his possession at the time. Byrd did very little in either fight because of his limited height. He was unable to make contact on a consistent basis because he was stuck on the outside most of the time eating hard jabs to the heads. When Byrd would attack Wladimir, the large Ukrainian would back up quickly and continue to fire shots.
After awhile, Byrd pretty much stopped attacking Wladimir and settled for eating jabs and right hands. In their rematch in 2006, Byrd uncharacteristically tried to attack Wladimir and got badly hurt from a right hand, dropped and pummeled.
Byrd says “It’s a hard match-up [still taking about Haye-Klitschko] and I feel right now him [Wladimir] and his brother [Vitali Klitschko] are going to dominate and they’re going to be dominant for awhile until somebody special comes along and beats them because they’re big guys and they know how to fight. David Haye-Wladimir Klitschko – I don’t see anybody beating Wladimir Klitschko right now.” In other words, Byrd doesn’t see Haye as being the guy that can beat Wladimir or his brother Vitali Klitschko now or in the future. I agree with Byrd 100 per cent. I see Haye getting slaughtered if he ever decides to fight Wladimir. I now doubt he ever will, because Haye looks to be in the milking mode with his WBA title rather than showing any interest in taking risks.
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