Boxer Bird flies back into the title picture

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CITY boxer JJ Bird has revived his title ambitions with a superb win this week.

CITY boxer JJ Bird has revived his title ambitions with a superb win this week.On Monday night he stepped into the firing line to face an unbeaten KO king – and came away with a victory that has thrust him into the title reckoning.

The 22 year-old light-middleweight dished out a boxing lesson to Callum Archer that stunned his opponent's home crowd at the Holiday Inn in Birmingham.

Archer's previous two fights at the venue had ended in first-round knockouts, but his crowding attacks seldom troubled Bird, who stylishly boxed his way to a convincing points win over eight rounds.

Referee Sean Messer scored the fight 79-76 and that means Bird lost only one round.

He had lost his previous three fights on tight points decisions and his win over Archer has put him back on track to challenge for honours later this year.

"It's a great way to start the year," beamed Bird. "I've got to be pleased with my performance.

"I knew he was unbeaten and could punch, so I stuck to my boxing. I didn't get involved in a fight. He was tough and strong and I just kept jabbing and moving.

"I only took the fight at three days' notice, but I'm always in the gym and ready to box when the right offer comes along.

"That was my first fight over eight rounds and that's a step towards a title fight. I'm hoping that will happen before the end of the year."

Bird already holds a win over former European light-middleweight title challenger David Walker in his 10-fight career and he was too sharp, polished and skilful for Archer.

He had a height advantage of more than four inches and used it to good effect.

Bird was soon pumping jabs into Archer's face to create the openings for his flashy, quick-fisted combinations.

Any success Archer had in the first half of the fight – and there wasn't much for the home crowd to cheer – was short-lived.

Bird would soon reply with a two-fisted burst of punches to seize back the initiative.

Archer thudded home a right hand in the fifth that sent spray flying from Bird's head and while the Birmingham boxer won the round on the referee's scorecard, he wasn't allowed to build on it.

Bird was soon back in control behind his jab.

Archer kept coming forward, trying to find the punch that would turn the fight his way, but Bird stayed in charge until the final bell.

Delighted trainer Gary De Roux said: "It was a brilliant win for JJ. I am really pleased with him.

"Archer was a rough kid and in every round he kept trying to knock JJ out. But JJ was too smart for him.

"It's a win that puts JJ right in contention for a title shot - probably a Southern Area or English title - and it's no more than he deserves. Nobody works harder than JJ."

Bird is looking for a sponsor and can be contacted on 07773 601217.