Byrd beats Holyfield to win IBF title

Chris Byrd used his superior speed to frustrate former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and deny him a chance to win the heavyweight IBF title for the fif

updated: February 25, 2007 09:28 IST
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Atlantic City, New Jersey:

Chris Byrd exposed Evander Holyfield as an aging fighter on Saturday night, using his superior speed to frustrate the former champion and deny him a chance to win a heavyweight title for the fifth time. Byrd resisted Holyfield's efforts to turn the fight into a brawl, making the 40-year-old miss wildly throughout the fight to win a unanimous decision and the vacant IBF heavyweight title. Even in the late rounds, Holyfield was game as desperation took hold and he threw big punches at Byrd in an effort to knock him out. But Byrd seldom let Holyfield get off a clean shot, and usually punished him with a flurry of punches in return. In a fight that lacked the electricity and drama of most heavyweight title bouts, the left-handed Byrd threw punches from everywhere and landed many of them. Even a late rally by Holyfield that had the crowd standing on its feet after the 11th round failed to swing the tide. Two judges scored it 117-111 while a third had it 116-112. Holyfield was attempting to become the only fighter other than George Foreman to win a piece of the heavyweight title in his 40s. Foreman was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer in 1994 to win a title. (AP)