Billy Bird says he is ready to grasp a ‘golden ticket’ to really launch his professional boxing career as he steps up his preparations for a shot at a Southern Area title, writes Russell Claydon.
The 24-year-old, who came through the ranks at Sudbury Amateur Boxing Club, is gearing up for the biggest fight of his life when he takes on fellow Essex fighter Matt McCarthy in the superwelterweight level showdown that will headline MTK Global’s ‘High Stakes’ fight card at the Brentwood Centre on March 3.
“This is my golden ticket opportunity,” said Bird.
“Winning it would put me at number one for an English title fight and in the British boxing team, and would open a lot more doors.
“It is the biggest step up I have made and would be like going from the Championship to the Premiership in football.
“It is make-or-break for me but I am ready to make the step up.
“I have been training for six weeks and I have another seven to go. I am getting into great shape.”
Bird’s record reads won 16 and lost one, with his last fight, a narrow six-round points victory over Ashley Bailey Dumetz in Norwich in November, having set up the Southern Area title tilt.
Opponent McCarthy is putting the belt on the line for the first time and is looking for a 10th straight victory, with a record of 17 wins and one defeat.
“He is a strong tidy boxer but I have a few game plans and I think it will come down to who wants it the most on the night,” said Bird.
The Braintree-based fighter, who only managed two fights last year after a lengthy spell out injured, is hoping a big vocal backing can roar him to victory in Brentwood.
“I am already looking at nearly 200 people travelling up, which is great. All the boys from Sudbury are coming, as well as people from Norwich and even a few from Spain,” he said.
* Bird, who wished to thank sponsors G&B Finch, D&B Scaffolding, O’Neil Construction and Powerlift Plant, said anyone wishing to come can contact Team Bird on 07717 315528.