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Byrd Beats Holyfield in Boxing Heavyweight Elimination Bout - 2002-12-15

As part of the heavyweight elimination series to unify the world boxing title, Americans Evander Holyfield and Chris Byrd battled for 12-rounds to become the new International Boxing Federation heavyweight champion. In the end, Byrd came out on top.

The first rounds saw both fighters keeping their distance, holding back for the later rounds. But Byrd took control in round seven, peppering Holyfield with quick jabs and body shots, and forcing the four-time heavyweight champion to take too many risks late in the fight.

The last three rounds saw both fighters exchange power punches and body shots, bringing fans at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall into a frenzy. All three judges awarded the fight to Byrd by comfortable margins.

Byrd, a silver medalist in the 1996 Olympics, improves his record to 35 wins and two defeats. The 40-year-old Holyfield, in what may be his final shot at a heavyweight title, falls to 38 wins, five defeats and two draws.

Byrd is scheduled to face the winner of the fight between World Boxing Association champion John Ruiz of the United States and fellow American and world light heavyweight champion Roy Jones, Junior. That fight is scheduled for March first in Las Vegas.