London win could propel Sykes to world title shot

Gary Sykes bids to add the Commonwealth title to the British crown he won in Dewsbury in May.
Gary Sykes bids to add the Commonwealth title to the British crown he won in Dewsbury in May.

Dewsbury boxer Gary Sykes could be propelled to the verge of a world title shot if he overcomes the toughest challenge of his career tomorrow.

Sykes takes on unbeaten Cromer rival Liam Walsh with the British and Commonwealth super featherweight titles on the line.

Trainer Julian McGowan believes the winner tomorrow will be on the verge of challenging for European, and possibly, world honours in 2015.

McGowan said: “If Gary beats Liam Walsh he becomes a very big player in the super featherweight division and in terms of prolonging his career, this is his biggest fight.

“A win certainly pushes Gary to the brink of a European shot and possibly a world title fight.

“Gary is ranked number three in the European rankings and would be next line to fight for that title.

“Walsh is ranked no9 by the WBO, with Gary at no13, but victory would move him into the top 10.

“WBO title holder (Orlando) Salido looks set to vacate that belt, so the winner of Walsh-Sykes could get a world title shot.”

The double-title showdown forms part of the huge Dereck Chisora v Tyson Fury undercard and sees Sykes fight in front of the biggest crowd of his career with around 20,000 fans expected at the ExCeL Arena in London.

McGowan added: “There was never a doubt in Gary’s mind that when this fight was offered we would take it.

“He has consistently stepped up to fight the best domestic fighters put in front of him and that is why Gary has earned respect from the likes of Ricky Hatton, Carl Froch and David Price.”

Sykes will see his opponent for the first time later today, Friday, when the weigh-in takes place at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square.