‘Forgotten man’ Sykes to send rivals big statement

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Gary Sykes aims to shrug off his tag of being the forgotten man of British boxing by sending a bold statement to his rivals tomorrow night.

Sykes meets Bradford’s Femi Fehintola at the First Direct Arena in Leeds and with the fight set to be screened by boxing channel BoxNation, it gives the Dewsbury man chance to shine in front of the country’s fight fans and pundits.

The 29-year-old has a shot at the British and Commonwealth super featherweight title against Liam Walsh in February next year but Sykes has been forced to take the long route back to the top.

By the time Sykes meets Walsh, it will be 30 months since the Dewsbury man lost his British title to Gary Buckland.

However, while some domestic rivals have been handed quick routes back to the top, Sykes has been forced to fight on small hall shows, winning and defending the English title to earn his crack at the Lonsdale belt.

Just this week, Buckland — who lost his British title with a fifth round knock-out by Stephen Smith in August — was handed a glamour fight against fellow Welshman Gavin Rees early next year.

The Dewsbury Moor man will bid to put on a show against Fehintola in Leeds tomorrow before turning his attentions to Walsh.

Sykes said: “ I want to try and get away from being the forgotten man and perhaps I’ll start to become a bit brash to get noticed.

“I want to send a statement of intent out with my performance, although I am not looking past Femi and I have trained for this as though it is a title fight.”

Sykes has sold out his allocation of £30 tickets for tomorrow’s show.