DEWSBURY has a new hero this week – boxing star Gary Sykes.
And it was double celebrations for the local lad who also won the hand of his knockout girlfriend popping the question after the fight.
The 26-year-old from Dewsbury Moor is the newly-crowned British super featherweight champion following a sensational victory over Manchester's Andy Morris in Huddersfield.
He is the first Dewsbury boxer in history to win a coveted Lonsdale belt.
Thousands saw the live televised fight, with Gary in his trademark shorts bearing the name of his little girl Layla.
Speaking exclusively to the Reporter, promoter Frank Maloney said: "It is good for the community and Gary can now become a role model for young people in Dewsbury."
Gary's delighted trainer Julian McGowan added: "The Lonsdale belt is the most prestigious belt in the world because of its heritage.
"This could be a lifechanging moment for Gary."
Gary was overwhelmed by the home support both at the fight last Friday and since his title win.
He said: "The television didn't do justice to the atmosphere in there and the reception I got from the fans is something that will stay with me forever. I can't thank them enough."
MP Shahid Malik organised for Gary to visit Prime Minister Gordon Brown yesterday and he and Julian will also be honoured with a civic reception at Dewsbury Town Hall.
For the full story, including fight coverage, pick up a copy of this week's Reporter.