Bird so unlucky not to return to winning ways

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CITY professional JJ Bird was terribly unlucky not to get back to winning ways when he fought at a show in Oldham at the weekend.

CITY professional JJ Bird was terribly unlucky not to get back to winning ways when he fought at a show in Oldham at the weekend.The 21 year-old light-middleweight couldn't wait to return to action after suffering a narrow and controversial points defeat in Portsmouth three weeks ago.

He was aiming to take his frustration out on hometown fighter Tommy Heffron on Saturday night - and for most in the hall at the Oldham Lesiure Centre he looked to have done just that.

But once gain he was on the receiving end of a dubious points decision as the referee scored it a draw.

Highly rated Heffron from Oldham, unbeaten after two outings as a professional, had an army of fans behind him and looked confident as he entered the ring for the start of the six- rounder.

But it was Bird who started sharper and he outclassed his opponent from the first round.

Big uppercuts and smooth combinations from Bird's flashy fists silenced the crowd and did a lot of damage as Heffron suffered black eyes, a bloodied nose and a split lip.

The game, tough Heffron tried to come back, but it was not until the last two rounds, when both boxers were tiring, that he had any effect.

But even then as Heffron advanced, Bird managed to stay out of trouble and finished the contest unmarked.

The decision shocked everyone in the Bird camp but the Peterborough boxer, who now has a record of three wins from five, remained positive.

Undaunted, he said: "I feel very good about this performance. I am getting a good varierty of fights and learning from each one. Now I have to put all those lessons together."

His trainer, former British featherweight champion Gary De Roux, said: "I was very pleased with JJ.

"He is moving up in class each time he fights and is still leaning. But the important thing is he is improving every time.

"And he is proving he can take on the top guys on their home turf and give them a tough time."