Champ Sykes eyes potential belt rivals from ringside

DEWSBURY boxing hero Gary Sykes has seen two new superfeatherweight champions crowned in the last month or so – and it could soon be his time to get back into the limelight.
The British superfeatherweight champ, Dewsbury’s first national champion, was an avid onlooker as Stephen Foster Junior dispatched Levan Kirokosyan to clinch the European title in Bolton last week – and also watched Ricky Burns’ tremendous underdog performance against Roman Martinez that saw him crowned WBO champion.
“I feel a little bit left out but those two have boxed at higher levels than I have, and for longer periods,” he said.
“It’s a good thing really because it keeps the titles in Britain, so they would be easy fights to make in the future.”
The fight before Burns’ title tilt he looked far from impressive against Dewsbury ice cream man Youssef Al Hamidi, but he turned it on on the night and will now defend his title against Matt Zegan in December.
Sykes worked as a pundit for Sky for the Foster fight – and even the undercard and two old foes gave him food for thought.
“Anthony Crolla v Andy Morris was a good fight and I picked it right,” he said.
“I’ll get in the ring with anyone but put a camera in my face and I’m nervous!
“But (Sky reporter) Ed Robinson said to me: ‘Look Gary, you’re British champion and a nicelooking lad, you should have more confidence. Then Sky tried setting two fights up for me! But I enjoyed it.”
Sykes has overcome both Crolla and Morris in the past, but a rematch against victor ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla could be on the cards with Sykes’ belt up for grabs. Although Sykes had hoped to have his next title defence in Dewsbury, an even bigger fight could be in the offing. “Everything’s up in the air at the minute,” he said.
“There’s a little bit of talk about me boxing on the David Haye v Audley Harrison undercard, but that might have come too soon.”
Dewsbury’s giant southpaw heavyweight Zahid Kahut is back in action tomorrow (Sat) in Huddersfield. He is set to face debutant Johnnie Ward of Manchester.

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