Billy Bird believes that he recorded the best victory of his professional career in Braintree on Saturday night.
The former Sudbury Boxing Club member found himself up against Lithuania’s number one ranked boxer Evaldas Korsakas, with the International Challenge Belt on the line.
Korskas headed into the bout with a relatively modest record of just three victories from seven outings, yet the southpaw was still regarded to be a dangerous customer.
He lived up to that billing in Essex, but Bird came through 76-74 on points, having twice put his opponent on the canvas.
“I have to give him credit because he is the best opponent that I have ever faced by a distance,” said Bird.
“People within the game will tell you that his record does not do him justice.
“Even so, I was the more attacking and aggressive fighter in what was a tight fight.
“Thankfully, the judges saw it that way, even though it should have been by a more convincing margin.
“I put him down twice and although he cut me in the fifth round, I stayed up and kept going.
“It is such a great feeling to have won the title and I cannot stop looking at the belt.”
Bird is hopeful that his latest triumph will have been enough to convince the British Boxing Board of Control to give him a shot at either the English Eliminator or Southern Area belts.
However, before that, the 23-year-old has conceded that he still has improvements to make.
“When I put him down in the third round, I rushed things and tried to go for a quick knock-out,” he added.
“I was too eager to finish the job when I should have shown some patience.
“That will come the more experienced I become and the more fights I have.
“You have to always be looking to improve, even if it is just footwork. The moment you stop, you are in trouble.”
Bird was also keen to pay tribute to those that had made the trip from his hometown up the A131 to watch him action.
In a crowd of 800, almost 200 were there to get behind the middleweight.
“It felt like I was fighting in front of 10,000 people, that is how loud all of them were,” he reflected.
“It really was something else and it created an electric atmosphere inside the venue.”
“I cannot thank the fans and my sponsors enough for showing such fantastic support.
“Now, when I get back to my next training camp, I will think about that and it will help get me through.
“I am just glad that I was able to put on a show and make sure that the journey everyone made was a worthwhile one.”