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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

‘It is a case of both going out there and seeing whose heart is bigger’ - Bird ready for title shot

Billy Bird, right, now fights for the English title in Brentwood on September 21. Picture: MARK HEWLETT

Billy Bird, right, now fights for the English title in Brentwood on September 21. Picture: MARK HEWLETT

© 2013 Mark Hewlett

Chicken wings, chocolate milkshake and a holiday in the sun – the tell-tale signs of success for Billy Bird.

And after six weeks of sacrifices, Bird is looking forward to letting off steam on Friday night and enjoying the rewards success brings.

Bird goes into battle against Adam Harper for the vacant English super-welterweight crown at the Ipswich Corn Exchange, desperate to satisfy a ‘home crowd’ after six weeks spent over the border in Norwich preparing for the biggest fight of his career.

“I have based myself up in Norwich for six or seven weeks, Monday to Friday and then Saturday and Sunday I train down my end,” said the 25-year-old, born in Sudbury and now living in Braintree.

“It has been hard being away from home, family, friends and my girlfriend. It has been a case of shutting myself away. Six weeks of pure living, eating and sleeping boxing, that is all it has been.

Billy Bird with trainers Jon Thaxton, left, and Graham Everett Picture: MARK HEWLETTBilly Bird with trainers Jon Thaxton, left, and Graham Everett Picture: MARK HEWLETT

“But I have actually found a platform where I am at and we are ready to keep on building.

“The hard work is done now.

“It is a case of just keeping sharp. We have our game plan on the night and it is just a case of being careful, not overdoing anything and making sure we go through things and ensure everything is done.

“I feel ready to get the weigh-in done – this is the first time I have made weight this comfortably and I haven’t really had to try. I come straight off one camp on to another. I am in a happy place, we haven’t skipped a thing.”

Billy Bird, right, in action. Picture: JERRY DAWSBilly Bird, right, in action. Picture: JERRY DAWS

Bird’s opponent had eight straight wins on his career until his last outing, a defeat to Michael Zerafa for the vacant Commonwealth crown – in Australia.

Bird knows Harper’s pedigree, but will rely on the most traditional of boxing instincts.

“I will be honest – every boxer I have ever come up against I have never watched a video of,” he admitted. “I never have done and I never will do. At the end of the day he has got a pair of hands, a pair of feet and a heart like mine.

“It is a case of both going out there and seeing whose heart is bigger – and I believe it is mine and I believe when it comes to fight night I will be victorious.”

And that celebratory feed? “You can’t go wrong with chicken and a milkshake.”

Kayden Jackson is hoping his goal in Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Brentford is the first of many as he continues to get to grips with the challenge of the Championship.

Paul Hurst doesn’t expect midfielder Teddy Bishop to be out for too long despite picking up a hamstring injury but Jon Walters is now a doubt for Saturday’s game with Bolton.

In our new daily feature, we take a look back at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town history.

Ipswich Town came-from-behind to draw 1-1 with Brentford at Portman Road last night. STUART WATSON gives his snap verdict.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst hailed the character of his players following their gutsy comeback draw against Brentford at Portman Road tonight.

Andy Warren hands out his player grades following Ipswich Town’s 1-1 draw with Brentford at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town produced a second-half turnaround as they battled back to secure a 1-1 draw against Brentford on the night the club paid tribute to the late Kevin Beattie.

Ipswich Town take on Brentford this evening as they search for their first victory under manager Paul Hurst (7.45pm).

Ipswich Town’s players, staff, fans and legends paid an emotional tribute to the late, great, Kevin Beattie prior to kick-off of this evening’s clash with Brentford.

Paul Hurst is not hiding from the fact he could face the sack if his winless start to life as Ipswich Town manager goes on much longer.

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