Chris Byrd: “Deontay Wilder reminds me of a young Tommy Hearns at welterweight, much taller than everybody but could punch also.”

7 Submitted by on Wed, 05 November 2014, 01:27

I recently spoke to former 2 time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd to discuss the heavyweight division and the boxing landscape. Byrd compiled a 45-5-1 record during his 16 year professional career and has wins over all-time great heavyweight champions Vitali Klitscho & Evander Holyfield. In part 1 of my interview Byrd shares his views on the upcoming Wilder-Stiverne & Klitschko vs. Pulev heavyweight title bouts. Additionally Chris speaks on Tyson Fury’s upcoming rematch with DerecK Chisora, and what it takes to comeback from a long lay off in boxing. Here is what Chris Byrd had to say.

Robert Brown: We got the prospect of Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne facing off. What are your thoughts on that fight?

Chris Byrd: I really don’t pick fights, I like breaking them down. When you look at both guys, both of them have punching power. Deontay Wilder is not really proven with the quality of opponents but he’s doing a great job, he knocks them out and being so tall, 6’7, he has the height and reach. He’s a hard match up for almost anybody outside of Wladimir Klitschko or anybody that’s of tall stature.

For Bermane Stiverne, it’s a style match up to where he’s kind of a boxer — he likes to use his jab, he has quick hands but it’s kind of hard to use that against a taller guy. The match up is very interesting, we’ll see what Deontay Wilder has in the fight, if Stiverne can push him the distance and try to take him out there in deep waters and drown him, then he has a shot. But he’s gonna have to put pressure to try to land punches against Wilder because Wilder uses his reach really good and uses his height and he can punch.

Wilder reminds me of a young Tommy Hearns at welterweight, 147lbs and much taller than everybody but could punch also. It’s a good match up, you got a guy that’s a champion and loves being champion right now and you got Deontay Wilder who’s hot, all knockouts and wants to win that belt. The match up is just great for boxing.

Robert Brown: Wladimir Klitschko is facing Kubrat Pulev this month. Can you expend a little on your analysis for that fight?

Chris Byrd: Wladimir Klitschko, since he won the title from me in 2006, he rearranged his game. He rearranged his game being smart, using his advantages — he’s tall, he’s very strong, has great reach — and that’s boxing. People say he’s boring, he makes fights simple. You walk away from the sport unscathed.

He got knocked out three times before he fought me and got knocked down three times in a fight right before he fought me with Samuel Peter. He hasn’t been touched since, smart. He’s older, he’s smarter. Hard match up, I think with Wladimir, he’s gonna use his jabbing ability, using the reach trying to set up the right hand. He’s a difficult match up, looking at him is one thing but being in the ring with him, it’s a difficult match up.

Pulev is good, the thing I like about Pulev is he doesn’t think about power. He doesn’t really thing about power, he can box, he’s good on his toes, he has a good jab but now he’s fighting an upward battle.

Robert Brown: Tyson Fury is facing Dereck Chisora again. How do you feel about that fight?

Chris Byrd: Another good match up. I think Chisora, after getting knocked out by David Haye he changed some things. He brings the pressure, tries to make guys miss. He’s not a tall heavyweight, so bring the pressure effectively instead of just coming in recklessly and not great defense. He’s another heavyweight that’s gonna have a major uphill battle if Tyson Fury can keep his height and reach.

Interesting match up, it all depends on if Chisora can get inside and make the big man work and can Tyson Fury keep him at bay and set up his right hand and combinations to win the fight comfortably.

Robert Brown: Tyson Fury is still rather young but how much does inactivity play a part in situations like this? Can you get the rust off in a few rounds?

Chris Byrd: With boxing, each person if different. For myself, I hated it. I hated being out nine months, I came back and my timing was off. You’ll get it back in sparring and training and then I get in the ring and it just didn’t feel the same, then a couple of rounds in, then I started to feel a little better.

You get a guy like Floyd Mayweather who’s off three years, or Vitali Klitschko that was off like four years and came back and won the title. Floyd Mayweather came back and fought Marquez after years being off and he looked brilliant. It’s just different.

With Tyson Fury, just in the confidence in himself knowing that all the trash talking he talked, he has to back it up. I think that alone, he’s the type of person that, “I gotta fight because I’m gonna get trashed so bad if I let all the trash talking I did go to waste and lose in a fight.”

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7 Responses to "Chris Byrd: “Deontay Wilder reminds me of a young Tommy Hearns at welterweight, much taller than everybody but could punch also.”"
  1. Cheaptrick12 says:

    and he didnt make weight…..

  2. Marquez would’ve faired better if he was the PED Hulk when he went up against the Duck, instead of Pee drinking balloon boy

  3. ʬWongWay says:

    It’s true mayweather came back from a years vacation to toy with marquez yet:
    1. floyd won’t fight pacquiao who was knocked out cold on his face by the guy he toyed with,
    1a) pacquiao is by far the biggest fight for floyd;
    2. marquez who laid out pacquiao flat on his face who looked dead won’t fight him again for some cockcamamie rationale “honor in KO’ing pacquiao is more precious than money he’ll make in a rematch”;
    2a) pacquiao is by far the biggest fight for marquez.
    3. floyd fearing for his life if he should fight pacquiao;
    4. floyd firing/distancing himself from people who suggests he fight pacquiao for a boatload of money;
    5. CB shud go up to floyd himself & tell him he should fight pacquiao and see what happens.

    I don’t know if he’s just saying these things so floyd will throw him a bone or something lol, or he doesn’t really know boxing which is probably why even Andrew Golota battered his face he was lucky to get away with a gift draw.

    if he doesn’t recognize the AMAZING WONDER OF ALL WONDERS why these two men he mentioned are both IN FEAR of this little “asian midget” in spite of the foregoing, then byrd needs to go buy or try and grow some normal brain cells, the ones he’s got ain’t cuttin it. better still he should shave his head cuz nutrients that should go to his brains is feeding that stupid dreadlocks and its not true what they said about that samson legend. lol.

  4. Billabong says:

    it wasnt even 2 years an he was back.. he doesnt fight hardley ever so it was basicallly a 12month lay off.. same as pacquio before he fought rios .. maybe add 6-8 months extra for floyd…

  5. barry gil r. pilar says:

    From lightweight Marquez went to welterweight to face GayFloyd and amazingly he made the weight, however Dinamita had been too slow during the fight. From a long lay-off the ever arrogant Gayfloyd fought Marquez and he did not make the required catchweight. He had to pay just to compensate his disqualification. Gayfloyd cheated Marquez and the entire boxing world. After the fight, Gayfloyd’s pack said that “Oh, Floyd made a good whooping of Marquez”! Really? LOL! I believe Gayfloyd will never fight Pacquiao because Manny could give him trouble. Gayfloyd has only one problem in facing Pacquiao. HE DOESNT HAVE THE BALLS TO DO IT!

  6. erap says:

    And for some reason, Marquez became an attacker when he fought Floyd. He’s normally a counter-puncher.

  7. You can’t call yourself the best if you never face your biggest rival, and when it comes down to it Floyd really wanted the fight it would have happened, in saying that PACMAN hasn’t exactly massively keen either, the difference is in 20 years time PACMAN will be remembered as one of the most exciting fighters ever who destroyed people in different weight where as FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. will be remembered as a defensive genius who ducked his biggest rival………