Billy Bird will be aiming to take inspiration from sparring partner Anthony Ogogo as he puts his perfect record on the line again tomorrow.
The 20-year-old former Sudbury Boxing Club member, who turned professional last year, was due to fight Scunthorpe’s Steven Spence in what is his sixth light middleweight professional bout, at Milton Keyne’s WonderWorld Xscape nightclub, before a last-minute withdrawal of his opponent due to injury this week.
That has left ‘Billy Boy’ with the prospect of instead facing the experienced Kieron Gray as a replacement but Bird believes he is more than prepared to overcome the 36-year-old known as ‘Slammer’ courtesy of a little help from Olympic bronze medallist Ogogo.
“Having your opponent pull out at the last minute is far from ideal,” said Bird. “You prepare for a fighter all the way through training and then have to prepare for someone different.
“However, they are both quite rangy boxers who like to jab and my fitness levels are still what they would have been so I’m looking good.
“Having a change of opponent so late doesn’t faze me at all, you still prepare as you would and so it won’t affect me too badly.
“He lost to Anthony last year and so I’ll have the benefit of getting some advice from him when we spar in training prior to the fight.
“I know Anthony stopped him and there is no reason why I can’t do the same.”
A sixth straight victory tomorrow evening would keep Bird, currently ranked 56th in his weight division, on the right track to maintain his burgeoning career as a professional and he is well aware that each dazzling display keeps him in line to have a shot at the British Masters title at some stage in the near future.
“By the end of this year I would hope to be in line to try and claim a British Masters title,” he added. “I’m climbing the rankings and that keeps me in line for when the title fights come about.
“It is a vacant title and so all I can do is keep catching the eye and hopefully I’ll get my shot.
“It is a relatively small title to have but it is the first important step on to bigger and better things.”