Billy Bird is aiming to take one step closer to a British title as he prepares for the toughest fight of his burgeoning professional boxing career
The 21-year-old former Sudbury Boxing Club member, who stepped up to the professional ranks last year, is putting his flawless record on the line once again ahead of his rearranged bout with the experienced Kieran Gray at Norwich’s Epic Studios tonight.
And despite preparing intensely for the 36-year-old known as ‘Slammer’, Bird — who was due to face Gray back in April before overcoming replacement Borislav Zankov on points — is well aware of the threat he poses, but remains confident of a seventh straight win.
“This is definitely my toughest fight to date, he has a good record and has fought some very good boxers so it will be a stern test,” he said. “I have to stay sharp because he is a very good boxer, but I’ve been doing altitude training in Spain which should help me stay the distance if needed.
“Facing a much more experienced opponent doesn’t really faze me, I treat every fight in the same way.
“However, I know I have to be aware of a few things but if I want to get a title shot then I have to beat people like Michael.
“I have a point to prove and if I can win this fight it will keep me moving in the right direction. I am ready to make that step up and put my name into the mix for future title fights.”
As well as warm weather training in preparation for his latest bout, Bird has once again been stepping into the ring with Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo, who overcame Gray early in his professional career.
And with Ogogo’s fighting style similar to that of his experienced opponent, ‘Billy Boy’ — who is backed by D & B Scaffolding, Tamdown, Swift LTD and O’Neil Contracting LTD among his sponsors — is confident of emulating his sparring partner.
“I’ve been sparring with Anthony who is tall and rangy like Kieran and that has been great but I am also prepared to go toe-to-toe with him if I have to and take his jab out of the equation,” he added. “Training has been really good and we have made a few differences to my preparation from the last time I was due to face him which gives me some different strategies and approaches for the fight.
“I know Anthony boxed him and stopped him in the past and I’ll be looking to do exactly the same.”