Chris Byrd to face Shaun George


Chris Byrd to face Shaun George

For years, Shaun George has waited patiently for his chance to rise to the top of his division. His journey comes to a head on May 16, when the Brooklyn native faces former two-time heavyweight champion Chris Byrd on ESPN's Friday Night Fights in Las Vegas, NV. The fight will be contested at the light-heavyweight limit of 175 pounds.

"This opportunity means everything to me," says George, 16-2-2 (7 KO). "I'm ready for this step up on May 16. I've been waiting for this kind of fight my whole life. I believe I'm a better fighter and I'm ready to prove it. I know I'm the underdog, but I also know I will come out on top."

Shaun George is currently riding a three-fight winning streak following a dubious decision loss to Alexander Gurov in his opponent's home country. During his last fight, George shut out difficult journeyman Thomas Reid over ten rounds. Reid was a late-replacement for Eric Harding, who withdrew the week of the fight. George was a decorated amateur, winning two New York Golden Glove titles, as well as US National Amateur and Junior Olympic titles. He is trained by the venerable Tommy Brooks and promoted by Hall of Fame Promotions.

George's adversary, whose impressive mark reads 40-4-1 (21 KO), is no slouch either. Byrd has posted victories over heavyweight mainstays David Tua, Vitali Klitschko, Fres Oquendo and Evander Holyfield, among others. A silver medalist in the 1992 Olympics Games, "Rapid Fire" is a sure-fire future Hall of Famer.

"I know he's fast and that he fights intelligently," George concedes. "That doesn't concern me. It won't be about what Chris Byrd can do, but what I can do. This is my time to shine, Chris Byrd just happens to be the opponent set before me.

Shaun George's manager, Hall of Fame inductee Lou Duva, is confident with his fighter's prospects. "I've never seen him this excited about a fight before," says George's manager Lou Duva. "He wants this win, he's training to win and he's going to win.

"I know what this kid's abilities are. Shaun is a good, strong light heavyweight. He throws a lot of combinations and does what it takes to win. I like everything I see about him."

A recent press release issued by the Byrd camp made mention of Byrd's post-George intentions. George says his only concern is on the challenge he has signed to face. "He can look past me all he wants, talking about fighting Jones, Tarver and Calzaghe. My only focus is on the fight in front of me."

Adds George, "The light heavyweight division is the best division in boxing and this fight will show why. I'm bringing my A game and I expect him to do the same."

The Shaun George-Chris Byrd bout is promoted by Banner Promotions.