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Byrd Wins WBO Heavyweight Title

April 1, 2000

BERLIN (AP) _ American Chris Byrd won the WBO heavyweight title Saturday when Ukrainian Vitali Klitschko stopped fighting in the 10th round because of a shoulder injury.

``It had pain since the third round. I hit with heavy pain,″ said Klitschko, who entered his third title defense with 27 knockouts in 27 fights.

``I just knew he gave up and I was the new champ,″ said Byrd. ``I myself didn’t expect to win.″

Byrd, 31-1, was a late substitute for Donovan ``Razor″ Ruddock, who pulled out because of a stomach injury.

Byrd, the 1992 Olympic silver medalist, gave away 34 pounds and six inches to the 6-foot-8 Klitschko, who appeared to be completely puzzled by the American’s ducking and bobbing.

By the end of the fight, the crowd was cheering Byrd, who backed up Klitschko in several rounds with a flurry of punches and taunted the Ukrainian.

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