Fans rally round to back champion Sykes

Boxer Gary Sykes at The Fox and Hounds pub. (d22081113)
Boxer Gary Sykes at The Fox and Hounds pub. (d22081113)

GARY Sykes’s supporters have been clambering to get hold of tickets for his British title defence against Gary Buckland at Ponds Forge in Sheffield on September 24.

Dewsbury champion Sykes has just a few £35 tickets left along with a number of ringside seats, priced £55 although there is a slim chance more may be made available.

The Fox & Hounds pub in Hanging Heaton has booked a 49-seat coach to ferry supporters to Sheffield but such is the demand that an additional bus has been reserved.

Sykes has been overwhemed by the level of support he has received and took time out of his hectic training scheduled to spend time with fans at a packed Fox & Hounds last Friday.

Sykes posed for pictures and signed autographs, while discussing preperations for the showdown. He also spent time behind the bar, pulling pints for customers.

Sykes said: “The support I have received for this fight has been absolutely brilliant and I’m sure my fans will make themselves heard on the night.

“I have been given my Lonsdale belt back to help promote the fight and it has helped remind me just what is at stake.”

Sykes has been travelling to Joe Gallagher’s gym in Manchester to spar with British and Commonwealth featherweight champion Stephen Smith together with British lightweight champion Anthony Crolla.

He was also due to spar with old foe Carl Johanneson last night as preparations gather pace. Sykes beat Johanneson in the second defence of his British title in March and he was expecting a tough session.

Victory over Buckland would see Sykes win the Lonsdale belt outright and would put him in line for a shot at the European crown.

Trainer Julian McGowan said: “We are leaving nothing at all to chance and Gary will be in the best shape of his life. We will leave no stone unturned in the quest to win the Lonsdale belt outright.”

To book tickets for the fight call Mark Waters (07890 071883) while travel, priced £10, is available by calling Ben Halmshaw at the Fox & Hounds (01924 463128).