Ogogo tips Billy Boy to become a major force

BRIGHT FUTURE: Billy Bird, who overcame Simon Henry to win the British Masters title (pictured) has been tipped for big things by Olympian Anthony Ogogo. PICTURE: Jerry Daws/Stillfocused.co.uk
BRIGHT FUTURE: Billy Bird, who overcame Simon Henry to win the British Masters title (pictured) has been tipped for big things by Olympian Anthony Ogogo. PICTURE: Jerry Daws/Stillfocused.co.uk

Anthony Ogogo believes new British Masters Bronze title holder Billy Bird will become a force to be reckoned with in boxing domestically.

The Olympic bronze medallist was in attendance at Norwich’s St Andrew’s Hall to present his sparring partner with his title after the former Sudbury Boxing Club member stopped 31-year-old Simon Henry in the fifth round.

And having seen the 21-year-old’s progression during his 10 professional fights, and first-hand during their sessions together at Kickstop Gym under the tutelage of Graham Everett, Ogogo sees no reason why ‘Billy Boy’ will not go to secure further glory in the light-middleweight division.

“If he continues to improve the way he has already over the next two to three years then he is going to be a force to reckoned with,” he said. “I felt lucky to be the one to present him with the belt and I was so proud to do so.

“To win his title was a massive achievement, but I think he can kick on and win full English and British titles and then look to challenge for world honours. He is only 21 as well, so he has got a lot of time to go on and improve a lot.

“If he can get another 15 fights under his belt, remain undefeated and be recognised as one of the top-ranked boxers in his weight then he would have to fight for a British title.

“If he can get that far then I have no doubt the world will be his oyster.”

But while the 26-year-old has backed Bird for future glory, he was also quick to warn the youngster not to expect immediate recognition or success, or for a big promoter to come calling just yet.

“I think people can put too much pressure on themselves sometimes,” he added. “Every boxer dreams of being the world champion, but very few actually make it.

“A lot of boxers also look to get signed up by a big promoter, but that can be a poisoned chalice in my opinion.

“They can have such a big stock of boxers that it can hard to keep them all happy.

“If you are good enough you will make it and I’m in no doubt Billy will do so.

“He is in a good place right now with Graham, who I know believes in him as much as I do.

“For me it is just great to see East Anglia making some noise and being back on the map again.

“We have been in the doldrums for too long and so it is great to see guys getting the recognition they deserve.”

More on Page 76