Alexander Povetkin has long admired Chris Byrd's skills, particularly, he says, his footwork. Today in Germany, the 37-year old Byrd's footwork and trademark determination gave the 28-year old Russian prospect all he could handle, but it wasn't enough to win.
The former world champion's father, Joe, threw in the towel in the 11th round, with Byrd's white trunks soaked in the blood of both fighters, after a sizzling bout with punches galore from both men, including a sixth round so fast and furious that the Erfurt audience erupted in cheers, which is not the picture folks get when they think of heavyweight boxing anymore.
Both Povetkin and Byrd spoke highly of the other afterward. Said Povetkin, "The fight was tough, very tough. He was very experienced. I couldn't land my blows the way I wanted. ... For me, the victory was just to prove something for myself."
Byrd said he had no plans to retire. "I've got to lose to an American before I retire. But he is a good one, he will win the title."
Povetkin (14-0, 11 KO) now awaits the winner of the Calvin Brock-Eddie Chambers fight on November 2.