March date for Sykes title defence?

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DEWSBURY boxer Gary Sykes looks set to defend his British super featherweight title against Leeds’s Carl Johanneson in the biggest Yorkshire fight in years, writes Andrew Hunt.

Johanneson has the chance to fight for the title after Manchester’s Anthony Crolla moved up a division to lightweight and it is believed it could take place as early as March 5.

There is already a show planned at Huddersfield Sports Centre on that evening – with Dewsbury novice Michael Smith set to return to action on the undercard – and as Sykes and Johanneson are promoted by Frank Maloney, it should be easy to make the fight.

March 5 is special for the 26-year-old Dewsbury Moor boxer and if the Johanneson fight is on that date it would be a year to the day since Sykes defeated Andy Morris to win the Lonsdale belt.

There has been much speculation that Sykes and Johanneson would go head-to-head and the clash would certainly create a huge amount of interest among fans.

Sykes has not fought since he was defeated by Gary Buckland in the Prizefighter competition last November, while former British champion Johanneson had a points victory over George Watson in Doncaster last month.

Sykes said: “I’ve always wanted to box Carl and this would be a major fight, which will create a lot of interest.

“I’m going to get psyched up for this because I fight my best when I am up against it.”

Johanneson, 32, held the British super featherweight title between 2006 to 2008 and he has already stoked up the fire by claiming he wants ‘his’ title back. Victory for Sykes would put him one win away from a Lonsdale belt outright.