Now A Light-Heavyweight, Chris Byrd Calls Out The Calzaghe vs Hopkins Winner!

18.04.08 - by James Slater: He hasn't fought as low as light-heavyweight since way back in May of 1993, but Chris Byrd, who is about to try to reinvent himself at 175 pounds at age 37, has reportedly issued a bold challenge to the winner of Saturday's big Bernard Hopkins-Joe Calzaghe fight..

According to the British Boxing News, Byrd has thrown his hat into the ring and called out Saturday's eventual winner (assuming there is one, of course, a draw cannot be totally ruled out in this fight). What are the chances of "Rapid Fire" getting such a bout? Well, slim and none, let's put it that way. Still, a fighter must have something to shoot for, and there is little doubt Byrd would take the fight if it was offered to him. But first the 37 year old with the 40-4-1(21) record must re-debut down at 175 pounds and get past the fired up and very confident Shaun George on May 16th.

How will the effects of having dropped over 35 pounds since his last fight bother Byrd? Will he even be able to fight up to his usual standard as a light-heavy? It did come as quite a shock when the former WBO and IBF heavyweight champion announced he was going to go down to light-heavyweight. A drop down to cruiserweight made sense for the fighter who always gave a lot of weight away in contests, yes. But down even further, to 175 pounds? We won't know until after the George fight if the still ambitious Byrd has made a mistake.

Part of what made Chris so successful up at heavyweight, was, of course, the fact that his speed was so much greater than that of the really big men. With that advantage gone as a light-heavyweight, will Byrd struggle? If not, Chris could well have a good run in the division. There are certainly no shortage of big names to face, should he get some serious momentum going. Forget a Byrd Vs. Hopkins or Calzaghe fight for the time being. But what about Byrd Vs. Antonio Tarver? Or Byrd Vs. Glen Johnson? Those bouts would likely be interesting affairs. IF, Byrd can still fight effectively down at his new weight, that is.

Until he's proven that he can, the notion of Chris Byrd being even competitive as a light-heavyweight is merely that - a notion. Let's see how Byrd does against the 16-2-2(7) George on the 16th of next month for now.

Article posted on 19.04.2008

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