Bird swoops on 'Golden Balls' in desperate search for cash

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A CITY boxer has turned to TV gameshows in a bid to help finance his career.

A CITY boxer has turned to TV gameshows in a bid to help finance his career.Promising light-middleweight prospect JJ Bird, a professional trained by Peterborough's former British featherweight champion Gary De Roux, has just taken part in 'Golden Balls'.

The popular ITV show, hosted by Jasper Carrott, has a top prize of 75,000 and viewers will see how Bird gets on in July.

The 21 year-old turned professional after a promising amateur career 15 months ago and won his first three bouts in style.

But then he was forced to put his career on hold.

He said: "My medicals were due and I hadn't got the money to pay for them. Every year professional boxers have to pass a medical, which costs about 200, then a brain scan costing 400 and then an annual licence fee which is 95.

"It added up to about 700 and I just hadn't got it. I'm only 21 and only pick up an average wage for working in an office.

"I tried hard to get a sponsor but with no luck. I've compiled a portfolio of my career to show people and I did get people interested. But when it actually came down to handing over the cash, the interest seemed to disappear."

So Bird came up with the idea of winning cash in TV gameshows.

He said: "At first I auditioned for the new series of 'Gladiators' and did well. I passed all the physical side of things but then when it came to the bit in front of the camera they said I wasn't suitable.

"Next I auditioned for 'Golden Balls' and this time I was successful. I've just done the show and it was great fun. It's going out some time in July but I'm not allowed to tell you how I got on. Let's just say I'm still looking for a sponsor."

Bird is now trying hard to appear in the new 'Beat The Star' programme.

"Some guy won 100,000 on that show on Sunday for beating Darren Gough. I'd love a go at that. I'm a good all-round sportsman and very fit – I train three times a day every day – so I reckon I'd stand a chance. And that sort of money would certainly solve my problems.

"Ultimately I hope boxing will become my main source of income but it's hard work getting established without a sponsor."

Anybody interested in sponsoring Bird can contact him on 07835 924908.