Hyattsville's Girgrah gets split decision over Byrd, keeps UBA lightweight title


March 01, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Isra Girgrah floored Tracy Byrd with a right-left combination in the third round, and hurt Byrd with a hook and another right in the 10th en route to a split-decision victory in defense of her Universal Boxing Association lightweight title before a full house of 500 last night at the Wyndham Baltimore Inner Harbor Hotel.

Girgrah (19-2-3, nine knockouts), known as the "Raging Beauty," won 97-92 and 95-94 on two cards, with a third judge awarding the speed, hustle and aggression of Byrd (12-5, four KOs) with a 95-94 verdict.

"I think they saw that she might have been the busier fighter, but that I landed the cleaner shots. I think the knockdown helped a lot," said Girgrah, 30, a Hyattsville resident who also holds the International Boxing Federation and International Women's Boxing Federation junior lightweight titles.

"I was trying to pace myself because I was a little rusty. I hadn't been in the ring for nine months," said Girgrah, who will try to defend her IWBF title before June. "Ring rust is not my friend, so I have to get right back in there."

The decision was not popular with Byrd's brother, Chris, a heavyweight contender who thought his sister not only landed more power blows but displayed more ring generalship, backing up and outhustling Girgrah and often beating her to the punch.

"The knockdown hurt, but we worked on that in the gym. Tracy pulled out of a clench and got caught with a right hand. We knew Isra had a good right hand," Chris Byrd said. "But after that, I thought Tracy controlled the remaining rounds. Tracy landed the power shots. She was the aggressor. Isra landed one power shot."

Proceeds from the five-bout card, which was sponsored by Fight For A Cure and raised approximately $15,000, according to director Lance Lowenstein, will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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