Chris Byrd willing to fight Chagaev in Russia!

By G. Leon


Chris Byrd willing to fight Chagaev in Russia!

GL: Congrats on your recent win over Paul Marranicio, can you give us some thoughts on your performance? "It was alright. I felt a little sluggish, but my hands are still pretty fast and I can still throw combinations. It was the first time in my career that I took a year off but I felt great, and I was fighting a southpaw. But I'm back and I'm ready for anybody."

GL: Do you feel ready to fight on the elite level in your next fight?

Chris Byrd: "It might not be against one of them next, I might take another fight but I'm ready. I just want to get back into the mix. If I can get another fight like that, I don't want to call it a tune-up, but a fight where I can stay sharp until something bigger comes I'll definitely do that."

GL: So you felt rusty and sluggish at first.

CB: "I felt so rusty and sluggish and it was all timing. My timing was just off and everything just felt different. Plus I hadn't fought a southpaw in four or five years. Coming back against a southpaw after a year off was a little strange, but once I got warmed up after a few rounds I got it going and I was letting my hands go, which was my main thing. I was doing a lot of that in training and getting back to throwing a lot of six, seven and eight punch combo's. I'm running my hands like I used to. When I was champion I was throwing one or two at a time and that's really not my game. Most guys when they get in the ring with me they're going to find that I'm not easy to hit still. My elusiveness isn't where I want it to be but it was first fight back in a year so that'll all come back real soon."

GL: It was your first fight of 2007 and you only fought once in 2006.

CB: "I may have only fought one, but I didn't have a year off and I wasn't coming off of a hard loss, which makes it totally differently mentally when it comes to getting back in there. I'm not the type of person to ever feel gunshy, but you think about things. Am I going to get caught again? Can this guy hurt me? You got to get all of that out of your system with fights like the ones I just took. It's all about confidence. I'm always very confident going into the ring, but I want to be confident doing the things I normally do and I want to get it there."

"Right now it's about having fun for me. I saw where the Giant lost to Ruslan Chagaev, the white Tyson who is a slick boxer. (laughs). I'm not stressed, I have no promoter, no promotional issues so I'm just doing my thing man. I'm ready for any of these guys and I want to become champion again."

GL: Are you looking to become part of an eliminator to bring yourself one step closer to a title shot?

CB: "Definitely. It's all cool with me. It's all fun for me. I love tournament format because you have to prove yourself, there's no selecting who is number one. If it's an eliminator that's cool. If it's SuperFighter, cool."

GL: How much time will you allow to pass before you take another tune up if nothing serious presents itself?

CB: "Let's put it like this. We're at the end of April and I'm ready to fight in June or July. I also want to give Joe Kelly props for putting on a great show in the Bahamas, he did his thing."

GL: Is there anything you like to say in closing?

CB: "I just fought a southpaw, Chagaev is a southpaw and he likes to box. He likes to box and I'd love to see if how my skills match with his. I'll fight him wherever it don't matter to me, I want to fight for the title and that's a fight that would be fun.


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