Billy Bird is flying high ahead of big-hitting Norwich show
Some of the region's biggest hitters will be on show when boxing returns to the Norwich ring next month.
Recently-crowned Southern Area super-welterweight champion Billy Bird is arguably top of the bill on July 28 at The Halls – a night when that particular honour could go to a number of the six boxers named.
Cruiserweight Iain Martell, Joe Hurn, heavyweight Fabio Wardley, para Connor Vian and Wisbech’s Joe Steed complete the line-up.
For Bird, there is something of a must-win element – the Braintree fighter has been handed a shot at Adam Harper for the English title after the summer – while Ipswich’s highly-rated Wardley will looking to take his record to 5-0 and justify the optimism over his career path.
Unbeaten Clacton middleweight Hurn is no stranger to Norwich – eight of his 11 fights have been in the city, and none of them has disappointed.
“I am really happy with this show,” said Norwich trainer Graham Everett. “I suppose you would say headlining it would be Billy, as Southern Area champion. He is our adopted Norfolk boy, with his Suffolk and Essex connections. He is a great fighter who is trained and managed by us, promoted by Shamrock. He is one of us and is coming off a great win over the champion for the Southern Area title and it is a good chance for him to show himself off.
“Billy is exciting, he just gets on with his work and travels up daily – a great effort.
“He has been nominated to fight for the English title so this Norwich fight is a potential banana skin for him – he has to win, because if he doesn’t it could be a problem.”
Martell is returning after seven months out, having broken his hand in each of his two pro fights – both victories.
“Iain has a lot more of his confidence back in himself now,” Everett said. “Mentally it was a bit of a strain breaking his hand in both fights, but he is working really well and I am really excited about him, he is the perfect age and it won’t take many fights before he is in the mix.”
Hurn – with 10 wins and a draw on his record – is closing in on a title fight.
“We are thinking maybe Southern Area or more, but we just need to keep him busy,” added Everett.