Gary Sykes is being put through a brutal buildup

DEWSBURY fighter Gary Sykes is being put through a ‘brutal’ buildup by trainer Julian McGowan in order to get him ready for ‘twelve rounds of hell’.
There’s five weeks to go until Sykes meets old foe Gary Buckland at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge and Five Star’ is at the height of preparation to keep his British superfeatherweight title.
McGowan oversees Sykes’ training, sparring and weight in the buildup to fights and believes that everything’s going to plan.
“At this stage Gary is looking great,” McGowan told The Press.
“Having the warmup fight means he’s never been out of the gym. His weight is pretty good, so we can focus on tactics, not merely shredding off weight as we’ve had to in the past.”
Sparring has to be thought out thoroughly and Sykes is going to be in with a combination of slick boxers, heavy hitters and speed demons.
“Gary’s sparring schedule is going to be brutal. We’re taking him to spar with Carl Johanneson, who he fought to retain his title earlier this year and before that we’ll also be facing Stephen Smith (British and Commonwealth featherweight champion) at Joe Gallagher’s gym in Manchester.
“It’s hard sparring another champion. Smith brings speed and power and has a fight coming up so they won’t be doing each other any favours.
“We’ve also got Chad Gaynor and Liam Walsh lined up.
“We know Buckland could come in heavy so we need to get used to bigger men and a mix of different fighters.”
Sykes’ three round win over Bulgarian Valentin Stoychev last month and subsequent return to the gym the following week means he’s stayed at the peak of his fitness.
The fight for Sykes is not only a chance to keep the Lonsdale belt outright, but also a shot at redemption after the embarrassing Prizefighter defeat and as far as McGowan is concerned, having lots of notice for the fight stacks the odds in their favour.
He said: “Keeping Gary busy keeps him sharp. Realistically I could have got him ready in four weeks and we have six.
“The most impressive thing is Gary’s attitude. He’s so switched on and he always wanted this fight again. It’s his chance for revenge.
“I’m pretty sure I know what Tony Borg (Buckland’s trainer) will have him doing, they won’t be banking on another knock out. The truth is that we have the better fighter.
“Gary hasn’t shown his best form yet. I’ve seen him spar Amir Khan and I know what he can do.
“Buckland has more to gain, Gary has everything to lose. When his back is against the wall, he’ll show what a true champion he is. We are ready for twelve rounds of hell – is Buckland?”

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