Sykes to defend English crown on Golden Boy bill

Gary Sykes with trainer Julian McGowan following his win over Kevin Hooper.
Gary Sykes with trainer Julian McGowan following his win over Kevin Hooper.

Newly crowned English super featherweight champion Gary Sykes will defend his title on the Amir Khan super bill in Sheffield on April 27.

A deal has been struck which will see the 29-year-old Dewsbury star fight on the mega Golden Boy show at the Motorpoint Arena.

Gary’s likely opponent is Manchester’s Jonny Kays, a fighter Sykes knows plenty about having beaten him twice in the amateurs.

Trainer Julian McGowan is delighted his charge will now be exposed on an international bill and knows victory on the undercard to Khan’s showdown with Mexican Julio Diaz could lead to bigger fights.

McGowan said: “Gary hasn’t had the exposure on such a big bill before.

“Golden Boy Promoters are the biggest in the world but they are now wanting to break into the UK market and rival Matchroom.

“We are not going to sit around waiting to be given title shots we are going to go out there and earn them.

“We want to clean up domestically and force the British Boxing Board of Control’s hand to mandate us for the British title.”

Sykes will get chance to see Kays in action tonight (Friday) as the Tameside man is on the undercard to Josh Warrington’s English featherweight title fight against Jamie Speight at Leeds Town Hall.

Warrington, who fights out of McGowan’s Central Boxing Club alongside Sykes, has sold around 600 tickets for the show which also sees the return of Dewsbury’s Tony Aitcheson after almost four years out of the ring.

Aitcheson is ready to be unleashed for his return and over 150 Dewsbury fight fans will make the short trip to Leeds to watch the 23-year-old take on Nottingham’s Nathan Capeness, a 19-year-old former kickboxer, who lost his debut fight on February 24.