Academy boxing duo in national top 10 rankings

GARY SYKES and Alan McIver of the Cleckheaton Boxing Academy, formerly Dewsbury and Batley Boxing Club, have broken into the top 10 fighters in their weight categories in the latest national rankings.

Light-welterweight McIver moves into the top 10 at number eight. His place was secured after victory against a much higher ranked and former ABA champion in this year's competition.

Gary Sykes who had to pull out of the ABA semi-final due to flu, has moved from eighth place to fourth in the featherweight category.

The top rankings are testament not only to the hard work of the boxers but also their coach Keith Tate.

Sykes took part in his first fight since his illness at Chesterfield on Monday night.

In a brave step he moved up from featherweight to lightweight to face former national schoolboy champion Peter Johnson. Sykes won on a majority decision but the experience of conceding weight to an opponent and some hard punching has persuaded him to stay as a featherweight for now.

Sykes fights again in Norwich on Friday against Craig Weston who is ninth in the rankings.

The ever-improving McIver will be looking to boost his confidence after his last fight, last week in Spenneymoor. McIver fought well against home fighter George Galone, but his efforts counted for nothing with the judges and Galone won by three rounds to nil.

Tate was so angered by the result that he felt obliged to lodge a complaint with the boxing authorities at the standard of judging.

On the same bill, Cleckheaton youngster Danny Rogers put up a good fight before losing. All but two of the bouts ended with home wins.

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