No disgrace in defeat for boxer Bird

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CITY trainer Gary De Roux was delighted with the way his promising young light-middleweight JJ Bird performed in his latest outing, even though it ended in defeat.

CITY trainer Gary De Roux was delighted with the way his promising young light-middleweight JJ Bird performed in his latest outing, even though it ended in defeat.Bird (22) was pipped on points by West Drayton's unbeaten prospect Steve O'Meara at the York Hall in Bethnal Green in a close four-round fight that left opinion divided among ringsiders.

Referee Mark Green preferred O'Meara's more flashy punching and scored it 39-38 to O'Meara, while there were those who were more impressed by Bird's workrate and the way he came back with clusters of blows every time he was tagged.

"First of all you have to realise that JJ is learning his trade against quality opponents," said De Roux. "It was only his eighth pro fight and all the time he's fighting good kids and O'Meara is tipped to go a long way.

"JJ only just lost and although I thought it was a fair verdict it could easily have gone the other way. I thought JJ boxed exceptionally well and had he not taken his foot off the gas a bit in the second when O'Meara caught him with four or five good shots, then I think he'd have nicked it.

"But JJ took all O'Meara could hit him with in his stride and in the last round I thought JJ wiped the floor with him.

"JJ did the stable proud, I was very happy with his performance and a lot of top people at ringside said it was a cracking fight."

Bird is in action again at the York Hall on November 21 against Grant Skehill from Wanstead, who is unbeaten from seven pro fights.