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Chris Byrd was born August 15, 1970, in Flint, Michigan. He is married to Trayce, who plays a big part in his career. They have three children and presently live in Las Vegas. Chris, who is the youngest of 8 children, started boxing at the age of 5, at his father’s boxing academy. He started competing at age 10 and compiled an excellent amateur record, with 275 victories, including the silver medal in the 1992 Olympics.
He turned pro with a six round decision over Gary Smith on January 28, 1993, in Michigan, as a super middleweight. Four months later he was a lightheavy, as he stopped Mike Sullivan, in the first round. In his next fight, against veteran opponent Exum Speight, Chris was a cruiserweight, again winning by six round decision. For his fourth fight, he again moved up, now to heavyweight, defeating Gerard O’Neil by second round stoppage.
Chris first won the WBO world title by beating Vitali Klitschko, who quit in the ninth round claiming a shoulder injury. After losing that title to Wladimir Klitschko by decision, with allegations of suspicious chemicals causing burning and swelling in his eyes, Chris defeated the powerfull David Tua in an IBF title eliminator. This gave him the opportunity to fight the great Evander Holyfield for the vacant title and Chris came through with a unanimous decision, to once again become world champ. His overall professional record is currently 37-2, with 20 K.O.’s.