DEWSBURY boxing hero Gary Sykes thinks his next fight will give him a double boost, writes ASHLEY BALL.
‘Five Star’ will face French opposition in Huddersfield on July 23 over six rounds, and there’s two reasons behind the fight being arranged.
Not only will the Dewsbury Moor superfeatherweight gain a valuable warmup ahead of his scheduled fight with rival Gary Buckland, set before the end of October, but he will also get a timely boost in the European rankings, where he is currently placed ninth.
Sykes said: “I need to get further up the European rankings so I can get a shot at the title.
“Apart from that it’s going to keep me busy ahead of the fight with Buckland.
“If I haven’t got a fight coming up it’s hard for me to be motivated, but this way I’ve got two on the horizon and will spend the whole summer in the gym.
“If I come through the Buckland fight, then Ermano Fegatilli and the European title is what I’ll be chasing.”
Sykes has been inactive since his gutsy win over Leeds’ Carl Johanneson back in March and wants to be ready for his rematch with Buckland.
The Welshman beat Sykes in the televised Prizefighter competition last year and subsequent wins in England and Mexico have put him in line for a shot at Sykes’ British title.
The British Boxing Board of Control have ordered that Sykes defends his title before the end of October and this is the showdown Sykes has been looking forward to.
“I want the fight with Buckland to be in Dewsbury. I think it’d be an awesome atmosphere and I’ve always wanted to box in my home town,” said Sykes.
“Obviously if I beat him I’ll be outright British champion. I can’t look past the French kid yet though, he’s going to be at a decent level and should cause me some problems.”
Tickets for Sykes’ six rounder at Huddersfield’s sport centre are available already through Mark on 07890 071883 and are priced at £30 or £50 (ringside). Dewsbury’s Zahid Kahut is also set to feature on the eightcard bill.