Victory would lay demons to rest

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GARY Sykes will be aiming to lay a few demons to rest when he enters Prizefighter on October 6.

The 28-year-old was favourite when he entered the super featherweight competition in November 2010 only to be knocked out by Gary Buckland 45 seconds into the semi-final.

Buckland then wrestled Gary’s much loved British title away from him last September but the Sykes camp admit lessons have been learned.

Trainer Julian McGowan was brutally honest in his assessment of that night at the York Hall Bethnal Green, saying: “That was, and still is, the biggest upset in Prizefighter history.

“Derry Matthews was knocked out in Prizefighter and no-one ever mentions that but they are always keen to point out Gary’s loss.

“That is why his inclusion this time makes it the best Prizefighter.

“Life has the tendency to turn full circle. I always said that we had no regrets about entering Prizefighter and we would do it again if the time was right and this gives us the chance to lay those demons to rest and catapult Gary back where he deserves to be.

“We have had the worst kind of experience in Prizefighter but we only had four weeks to prepare last time, the least of all the competitors.

“Gary lost focus (against Buckland) but he will be switched on this time.

“This really is a team effort, I’m Gary’s boxing coach but Mark Hurley and John Tallant are working on his fitness and conditioning and these guys have made it possible for me to continue.

“John has come in at the perfect time and has taken some of the pressure off. He has been working with Gary three times a day, with sprints, conditioning and gym work.”