Former heavyweight champion Chris Byrd is very impressed with the current heavyweight champions, WBC beltholder Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) and IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO unified king Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs).
The two large heavyweights are in position to fight each other in less than a year.
They are currently working out the details, with the contest scheduled to take place by the end of the year or in the first quarter of 2019.
Byrd believes Wilder's weakness is his inability to handle pressure.
He felt Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz was a few punches away from knocking Wilder out back in March. Wilder was in serious trouble in the seventh round of the bout, and he appeared to be on the verge of getting knocked out. But he survived, and came back to knock Ortiz out in the tenth.
If Joshua applies good pressure, and stays smart, Byrd believes the British superstar can beat Wilder.
“Deontay Wilder is a scary monster but he’s beatable just like anybody else,” says Byrd to Boxing News.
“In Wilder’s last fight, that old man (Luis Ortiz) was getting ready to stop him. Ortiz is at least 45 years of age. If he had thrown three or four more punches he would have stopped Wilder. So, if Anthony Joshua puts pressure on him, he might win. Wilder can’t take pressure. If you do it the right way and use solid defence to get close, he can’t take it.
“But if you give that man distance and find yourself in his range, at the end of his punches, he will knock your head clean off. He has power that is unbelievable.”
As far the styles, Byrd would have preferred to face Joshua in the ring.
“For my style, [Joshua] would have been my choice. The rangy guys like Vitali and Wladimir are hard to fight. I know Joshua is big and rangy in his own sort of way – for a small guy like me – but his style is different. He doesn’t know how to use his size all that well," Byrd said.
“He’s six-six and a great athlete. He reminds me of Jameel (McCline) in a way. In a way.”