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21 years ago

Chris Byrd vs Evander Holyfield

Chris Byrd vs Evander Holyfield

Date: 14th December 2002

Venue: Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Title: vacant IBF World Heavyweight Title

Promoter: Don King


Chris Byrd
( 35 - 2 - 0 )
Weight: 214 lbs

Evander Holyfield
( 38 - 5 - 2 )
Weight: 220 lbs

Chris Byrd vs. Evander Holyfield for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) Heavyweight Title on December 14, 2002, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, showcased a pivotal moment in heavyweight boxing. Byrd, known for his speed and technical skill, faced off against Holyfield, a veteran seeking to claim a heavyweight title for an unprecedented fifth time. Despite Holyfield's determination and experience, Byrd's night performance was a boxing efficiency and strategy masterclass.

Byrd's victory over Holyfield was unanimous, with judges scoring the bout 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111 in favor of Byrd. This fight underscored Holyfield's challenge against opponents who could exploit his ageing reflexes with superior speed and agility. Byrd, a left-handed fighter who had moved up from lighter weight classes, used his quickness to frustrate Holyfield, making him miss and capitalising with precise counterattacks.

Throughout the match, Holyfield, at age 40, struggled to connect with the elusive Byrd, who effectively dictated the fight's pace. Despite Holyfield's efforts to turn the tide, including a late rally that electrified the crowd, Byrd's consistent performance over the 12 rounds left no doubt in the judges' minds. CompuBox statistics highlighted the disparity in activity, with Byrd throwing 747 punches to Holyfield's 344 and landing 252 compared to Holyfield's 102.

After the fight, Byrd expressed satisfaction with his ability to compete against and defeat a renowned heavyweight like Holyfield, emphasising his readiness to face other top contenders. Holyfield, for his part, remained resolute in his quest for further glory despite the setback.

This bout marked a significant achievement for Byrd, securing his position among the heavyweight elite and setting the stage for future title defences.

For Holyfield, the loss prompted questions about his future in the sport, though his resolve to continue competing was evident. Holyfield's pursuit of a fifth heavyweight title symbolised the resilience and determination of his storied career, which had endeared him to boxing fans worldwide.

Chris Byrd vs Evander Holyfield on YouTube

Chris Byrd vs Evander Holyfield

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