Bird poised for Southern Area title fight next year

FLYING: Billy Bird shone in his weekend fight in Norwich against Ashley Bailey Dumetz and is now lining up a tilt at the Southern Area Super Welterweight title next year
FLYING: Billy Bird shone in his weekend fight in Norwich against Ashley Bailey Dumetz and is now lining up a tilt at the Southern Area Super Welterweight title next year

Billy Bird says he is ready to ‘step up a gear’ as he prepares for a shot at the Southern Area super welterweight title next year.

The former Sudbury Boxing Club member impressed in a points victory against Ashley Bailey Dumetz in Norwich on Saturday night.

And now the 24-year-old has his sights set on the Southern Area title, with the fight for the belt being lined up for March 3 in Brentwood.

“I’m back in the mix now and I’ve got a championship fight in March which should be 100 per cent confirmed in the next two weeks,” Bird said.

“It’s the biggest fight of my career. I’m at the stage now of my career where I need to have the big fights.

“I had a great fight on Saturday night and some would say it was the fight of the night.

“I’ve had the warm-up fights and now it’s time to see how good I am and step up a gear.”

Tilbury’s Matt McCarthy (18-1) is the current holder of the super welterweight title. The Essex fighter beat the previously unbeaten Tony Milch (13-1) by fifth-round knockout for the vacant title at York Hall, in Bethnal Green, last month.

Meanwhile, Bird improved his record to 16-1 after beating Dumetz 58-57 on points at Epic TV Studios, in Norwich, this past weekend.

It was Bird’s second fight in less than two months, following on from the points win over Sonny Whiting in September and, having previously endured a 16-month lay off due to injuries and late call-offs, he is delighted to be back.

“I’m over the moon,” Bird said. “He (Dumetz) was a tough opponent and definitely without a shadow of a doubt came in to try and win the fight.

“I didn’t box to the best of my abilities but I got the win, that’s the main thing.

“At one stage in the fight, I caught him at the end of the third round with a shot, but the bell sounded luckily for him.”

Bird will begin an 8-12 week training camp for his Southern Area title fight at the start of next year, but will first enjoy some rest time while on holiday in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m going away for nine days and then in the New Year I’m heading out to Tenerife for a training camp with the Walsh brothers,” he said.

“They’ll be putting me through my paces. They’re British champions so it will be a big help for my training camp to make sure I’m ready for the third (of March).

“I’ve been a professional now for four years, so to have an extra eight weeks for a training camp is a small sacrifice to make.”

Bird’s victory at the weekend also marked his first bout in Norwich since March of last year, and ‘Billy Boy’ paid tribute to the support he received on the night.

“I’d just like to say a massive thank you for the great support I had on Saturday night,” he said.

“I couldn’t thank you all enough, it was a great night. I’d also like to thank all my sponsors who have helped me out.

“I’m sitting here a few days after and I still have a big smile on my face.”