Klitschko's injury hands title to Byrd

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The American Chris Byrd became the new World Boxing Organisation heavyweight champion after Vitali Klitschko quit with an injured shoulder at the start of the 10th round of their contest in Berlin on Saturday.

Klitschko led the fight narrowly, although Byrd's unorthodox style surprised and confused the Ukrainian. Klitschko had entered his third title defence with the impressive record of 27 knockouts in 27 fights. Byrd, who had only one defeat, was a late substitute for Donovan "Razor" Riddick, who pulled out with a stomach injury.

Klitschko caused confusion when he suddenly pulled off his gloves and did not answer the bell to start the 10th round. His camp claimed he faced an operation on his left shoulder. "I had pain from the third round. I hit with heavy pain," Klitschko said.

Byrd, the 1992 Olympic silver medalist, gave away 34 pounds and 14 centimetres to Klitschko, who appeared to be puzzled by the American's ducking and bobbing. By the end of the fight, the crowd was cheering Byrd, who backed up Klitschko in several rounds with a flurry of punches.

Bury's Ady Lewis outboxed Francis Ampofo in his own East End backyard of Bethnal Green and now wants to parade his British and Commonwealth bantamweight titles on his home patch in Bury.

Under present policies, town hall chiefs would not allow it, and Lewis and co-manager, Jack Doughty, are hoping his triumphs will result in the veto being lifted.

Bury Council stopped professional boxing in the area at the time when the tiny Lancastrian was the British and Commonwealth flyweight title-holder, and Lewis had to do his fighting elsewhere.

Bury Football Club have offered Lewis the chance to fight at their Gigg Lane ground, but boxing in his home town will remain an unfulfilled ambition unless local officials have a change of heart.

Comments