Underdog Sykes targets big upset in Campbell title clash

Gary Sykes is unfazed by the underdog tag as he prepares to meet Hulls Luke Campbell at the Sheffield Arena on Saturday.
Gary Sykes is unfazed by the underdog tag as he prepares to meet Hulls Luke Campbell at the Sheffield Arena on Saturday.

Gary Sykes will bid to upset the odds and capture the vacant Commonwealth lightweight title when he meets Luke Campbell at the Sheffield Arena on Saturday.

Some bookies have Sykes as a 10/1 shot to beat the 2012 London Olympic gold medal winner but the Dewsbury man is unfazed by the underdog tag.

Sykes said: “There is absolutely no pressure on me and the odds show how much of an underdog I am. Some may have written me off but that doesn’t bother me.

“We have put together a gameplan and the camp has been so relaxed and we have been doing a lot of work behind closed doors.”

Sykes enters his eighth championship fight but his first at lightweight and believes his experience could be a key factor on Saturday.

The 32-year-old added: “I want to take him into the stretch and see if he has the guts to go all the way.

“People have seen me dig deep to win fights in the past and I have the know-how and experience.”

Sykes previously entered the Prizefighter Lightweight tournament — in October 2012 — when he registered impressive victories over Tommy Coyle and Anthony Crolla before being edged out by Terry Flanagan in the final.

Sykes added: “When I entered Prizefighter, I was still a super featherweight, now I’m a fully fledged lightweight, let’s see what I’m capable of and a win could lead to even bigger things.

“The main thing for me is winning belts. I already have the English and British belts on my wall at home and I’d love to add the Commonwealth to that.

“I have given 17 years to boxing and those belts are something to show my kids as to just what I achieved in the sport.”

Campbell was regarded as one of the golden boys in British boxing following his success at the London 2012 Olympics but having won his first 12 fights — 10 by way of knock-out — the Hull man suffered a shock defeat to Yvan Mendy at the 02 Arena in December.