Sykes staying focussed for McKray bout

Gavy Sykes focussed on his bout with MArk McKray. By Javed Iqbal
Gavy Sykes focussed on his bout with MArk McKray. By Javed Iqbal
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Dewsbury boxer Gary Sykes admits he will be giving Mark McKray his full attention when the pair clash at Elland Road on Friday night.

Sykes has a shot at Stephen Smith for the British super featherweight title in November but knows he must negotiate the tricky Londoner first.

The 29-year-old is relishing the chance to box on the Yorkshire’s Finest bill in what should be a cracking atmosphere and he is determined to put on a show for the big Leeds crowd.

Sykes said: “I can’t look too far ahead as if I don’t come through this I think I could kiss goodbye to Smith and my title shot.

“I’m fully focussed on this fight and then it will be tunnel vision for Smith.

“We have taken this fight as part of the preparations for Smith and this is the best show Yorkshire has had in a long time. As the show is getting closer there has been a real buzz”

McKray fights at light welterweight, two divisions above Sykes’s super featherweight, and he has a reputation of being a big puncher.

As it isn’t a title fight, the weigh-in will take place on the night and Sykes is expected to enter the ring slightly above the 10 stone mark.

Sykes added: “I’ve been told that McKray really looks the part. He’s ripped and looks in shape but it’s okay looking in shape, let’s see if he can back it up with a performance.”

Jamaican-born McKray has won five and drawn one of his 27 bouts and Sykes will be going in search of a 25th win of his career.

Top of the bill sees Sykes’s Central Boxing Club stablemate Josh Warrington meet Ian Bailey in his English featherweight title fight defence and the Dewsbury man admits he is looking forward to cheering on his friend.

Sykes added: “We are one big family. I’m sure the people who have bought tickets to watch me will be cheering Josh on and those who are going to support Josh will want me to win.

“He is fighting at the home of his favourite football team and I’m sure he is going to have a lot there to support him.”

Hull’s Tommy Coyle, along with Leeds duo Adil Anwar and China Clark are also on the packed undercard at Elland Road.