Dewsbury boxer Gary Sykes admits he will have to dig deep when he meets Liam Walsh for the British and Commonwealth super featherweight titles on November 29.
The bumper ExCeL Arena show, in London’s former Docklands, includes four top class fights but while Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank, along with Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora, are taking most of the limelight, many pundits are predicting the Sykes-Walsh clash could be fight of the night.
Walsh, who boasts an unbeaten 16-fight record, is the reigning Commonwealth champion and has former World Champion Scott Harrison among his notable scalps.
However, the Cromer man has admitted he faces the toughest fight of his career when he takes on 30-year-old Sykes.
In a recent interview, Walsh said: “This is definitely my hardest fight, bigger than Scott Harrison. Gary is very much underrated. He works very hard, trains very hard and fights very hard.
“His only real loss has been the British title fight to Gary Buckland and that was pretty close. The other two were in Prizefighter and mean little.”
Sykes admits preparations are going well as he aims to add the Commonwealth strap to his British crown.
Sykes said: “Things are spot on at the moment and we are right where we should be for the fight.
“The track work has been good and sparring is going well. It’s always a hard spar with Terry Flanagan and I’ve been going across to the Ingles Gym in Sheffield.
“I’ve read the piece Walsh has done and he seems like a nice lad. He speaks very highly of me, which means I know he is not going to have taken me lightly.
“He’s been in Tenerife, so he’s had a really hard camp too.
“Any belt I can get at the moment I am happy with. I’ve won the English and the British so to add the Commonwealth to that would be great.
“It makes you realise how big the bill is when you have a film crew coming and spending two days with you.
“This is bigger than the Amir Khan bill I fought on as there is much more depth in the quality of fights. I’m prepared for a tough fight but I’m willing to dig as deep as necessary to get the win.”
Walsh has held the Commonwealth super featherweight title since October 2010 and, like Sykes, has had victories over Kevin Hooper and Jon Kays on his record and the Cromer man has also flirted with a move up to the lightweight division.