Chris Byrd was on On The Ropes boxing radio show, and he had some interesting comments about his fight with Vitali and being contractually obligated to fight Wladimir next. Seems they did that to him, like they were wanting to do to David Haye.
On whether he was satisfied by the way he won the WBO title against Vitali Klitschko:
ďHow I feel about the win? My thought is you donít quit the fight. I donít care what happens. If youíre a champion, you know youíre winning, why would you quit? You just donít do that. Iíve been injured in many fights that people donít even know about. Iím a very small guy. I mean, Iíve suffered major injuries in the ring while I boxed, and one of them being I got my nose broke, pushed all the way over in the first round. I didnít quit. I didnít tell anybody. I just sat in the corner and was like, ĎOh my goodnessí, because if the doctor would have checked me they would have stopped the fight. I didnít want to lose. So with the heart of a champion, you keep fighting. With German reports of the fight, as opposed to HBO, in Germany they had either way 5-4 for either person going into the tenth round. So I donít know if he was hearing German reports and the fight was close, but you donít cop out. You may have a shoulder injury but you keep fighting. Itís part of the sport, itís a hurt sport, so looking at that I would have kept fighting. Thatís why I was so happy after the fact that it didnít seem like he was truly hurt, but in the fight I threw really good body shots and early on he wasnít grunting at all when I hit him to the body and then in the fifth or sixth round he started to, and Iím like, ĎOh, Iím getting to him, more and more, and people donít see thisí. Iím like wow. Thatís why I kept cutting the distance if you noticed in the fight and he ended up quitting. It was a cheerful moment for me because I took this fight on eight days notice and I hate to say it, but I had major diarrhea going into the fight because I wasnít adjusted to the food and I was drinking juice over there that was 100% so it goes right through you and when I got in the ring I probably weighed 199 pounds and Iím fighting a guy who weighed around 250. I was just extra excited and overwhelmed with emotion because that was a giant killer everybody said, that Iím hearing, that nobody could beat. He was 27-0 with 27 knockouts, Iím like, ĎMan, I guess I am pretty goodí. Especially coming off of the Ike Ibeabuchi loss which still haunted me, and Iím in the mix now, where I wanted to be.Ē
On his first fight with Wladimir Klitschko and having to fight him immediately after beating his brother Vitali:
ďLike I said, the politics and business of boxing, it was a great time in my boxing career to win the title but then I had to go with the business and politics of boxing. Really, if youíre not at the top level and going through stuff, you really donít know whatís going on behind the backdoor with negotiating and how they plan and want to put people in certain situations. It wasnít for me to be WBO champion at that time, so of course, from the fight with Vitali to Wladimir there was so much negotiating that was going on that was terrible. It wasnít in my favor and they forced me to fight Wladimir in my very next fight. It wasnít really deserved, I donít think and I waited. He had two fights and an exhibition in that whole time. They wouldnít allow me to have an exhibition or do nothing. I mean, he had an exhibition like three weeks before we fought and Iím like, ĎThis is crazyí. But the Germans were the lead promoters and thatís their fighter, and when you understand what goes on, like I said with the business side and the business decisions, which favors the Germans so I was told I still have to fight. I go in and fight, he beat me really badóI mean it was bad. More power to him.Ē
Entire interview recap and audio by clicking here.