Sykes faces away date for British title

Gary Sykes v Jon Kays'English super featherweight title defence. Motorpoint Arena Sheffield
Gary Sykes v Jon Kays'English super featherweight title defence. Motorpoint Arena Sheffield

Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes is gearing up for an away trip in his bid to win back the British super featherweight title and claim the Lonsdale best for keeps.

Promoter Frank Warren has agreed terms with Sykes’s team to stage the title fight against Liverpool’s Stephen Smith and although a venue and date has to be finalised it is almost certain the Dewsbury Moor man will travel to Merseyside.

Warren will also promote the British super middleweight title fight between Stephen’s brother, Paul, and Luke Blackledge and there is already talk of both bouts being on the same bill.

Sykes said: “It looks like we’re going on the road but that doesn’t really bother me.

“Liverpool is the likely place and there is already talk that all four Smith brothers could fight on the same show.

“We are now focusing on the British title fight and will be working on certain things in the gym for Smith.”

Sykes will have a warm-up fight on the huge Elland Road bill on September 27, when some of Yorkshire’s finest boxers will be on show.

Sykes’s Central Boxing Club stablemate Josh Warrington will headline the ‘Yorkshire’s Finest’ bill, defending his English featherweight crown against Berkshire’s Ian Bailey

Sykes will meet London based Jamaican Mark McKray in a six-rounder, which is likely to be at light welterweight.

Sykes added: “That fight will probably be matched at 10st 2, so I am not yo-yoing between this and my title fight.

“After Elland Road it will be tunnel vision towards the Smith fight and the British title.”

Sykes is also starting basic boxing lessons for children on Saturday mornings at the Central Club, Dicky’s Gym, Hick Lane, Batley.

Lessons for eight to 12-year-olds are between 10am to 11am (priced £3) and 12 to 16 year olds are 11am to 12.15pm (priced £3.50).

Warrington defeated Bailey over four rounds in 2011 but he is leaving nothing to chance on what is going to be a huge night in the 22 year-old’s career.

Warrington said: “I boxed Ian before. It was only a four rounder but that last time I underestimated him a little bit and I won’t be doing it this time.

“I’ve heard about him turning up and causing upsets and he’s not one to be taken lightly.”

Yorkshire’s Finest at Elland Road brings together the county’s best boxers, with Leeds duo Adil Anwar and China Clarke, along with Hull’s Tommy Coyle, on the bill alongside Sykes and Warrington.

Josh Warrington’s English featherweight fight against Ian Bailey is top of the bill and he can be contacted on 07936 421459 for tickets.

Sykes also has a batch of tickets on sale for his fight against McKray, by contacting Mark Waters on 07890 071883.