By Alex Moss

BRAINTREE boxer Billy Bird admits his Southern Area super welterweight title triumph still hasn’t sunk in yet.

The 24-year-old edged out the defending champion Matt McCarthy, from Tilbury, on points in Brentwood to claim the title and the biggest win of his career to date.

A crowd of more than 1,600 turned out to the Brentwood Centre to watch Bird be crowned the new Southern Area champion and he could not be more grateful to those that supported him on the night.

“It still hasn’t sunk in properly yet,” said Bird.

“It was a great night, the best highlight of my career.

“It (the decision) was a bit closer than what I thought.

"I put Matt over twice in the fifth round.

“I went there with a game plan.

"I was the away fighter so I knew I had to win convincingly.

“It was his home ground, but it felt like I was in my home ground with the support I had.

“I had tremendous support from everyone who turned out and having all of them behind me meant the world to me.”

The unbeaten Ted Cheeseman currently holds the English super welterweight title, and last month the Londoner won the WBA International super welterweight title to improve his unblemished record to 13-0.

Bird is now in line for a shot at Cheeseman, however, he has not ruled out McCarthy invoking the rematch clause he has to try and win back the Southern Area belt.

“Matt’s team requested a rematch clause in the contract so we’ll have to wait and see what he wants to do,” added Bird.

“If he wants a rematch then we get it on again, failing that I’ll be fighting for the English title.

“For now I just want to have a good couple of weeks off, keep ticking over, and then I’d like to come back out in May or June time definitely.”