Hooper dying for second Sykes shot

KEVIN HOOPER is “dying” for a second shot at Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes.

The Grimsby fighter, who was unanimously defeated by ‘Five-Star’ for the English super-featherweight title last month, is eyeing a potential rematch.

Hooper, 29, will fight an English championship

eliminator against Craig Johnson in June, the winner claiming a shot at Sykes’ national crown.

But if victorious in Sheffield on April 27 against Jon Kays, Sykes is in line to make a second defence of his title – in Dewsbury – on June 8.

Hooper therefore would miss out on a automatic clash with the former British champion.

But he remains hopeful of a future bout, claiming the original March 15 tussle was a much closer contest than the judges’ scorecards suggested.

“I would love to fight Gary again, I am a better fight now,” said Hooper.

“It was a close fight, much closer than the 98-92 given by one of the judges – that was completely far-fetched in my view.

“I know I could beat him given another chance, I am hoping it could happen at some point.”

However, Julian McGowan, Sykes’ trainer, insists the Humberside fighter has little chance of ever gaining a second bite of the cherry.

“In life you have to earn your second chance, like we are (with the British tittle), and I suggest (Kevin) Hooper does the same,” said McGowan.

“We won’t fight him again, why would we? We are only interested in being mandated for the British title now. Kevin is bound to want revenge, everyone who loses their unbeaten record does, but we beat him

clearly and there is nothing to gain now for us.

“Kevin had his moment in the sun, we are moving on to bigger and better things.”

Meanwhile, Sykes’ Central Boxing Club stablemate Tony Aithceson has been added to Jamie McDonnell’s IBF bantamweight Doncaster show on May 11.

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