McGowan’s plan for Sykes to shock world

Gary Sykes with sparing partner John Quigley. (NS)
Gary Sykes with sparing partner John Quigley. (NS)

By Andrew Hunt

TRAINER Julian McGowan is aiming to come up with a game plan capable of shocking the boxing world when Gary Sykes travels to Las Vegas to challenge Adrien Broner for the WBO title on May 19.

Sykes is aiming to become the first man to beat Broner at the Mandalay Bay Hotel but it is McGowan who must come up with the tactics to overcome the reigning world champion.

McGowan has been studying hours of footage from previous Broner fights and believes Sykes is capable of causing what would be regarded as one of the biggest shocks in boxing history.

McGowan said: “I’ll do whatever is needed to make sure Gary Sykes shocks the world and fulfils his potential.

“If Broner blows people away in a round, there are two things. Either the opponents were just out of their depth, or they made bad tactical errors.

“Gary watches only little things with me, I show him a move, then explain why we are doing things in the gym a certain way.

“I can now watch a Broner fight that I haven’t seen before and with an 85 per cent accuracy, call the shots and his movement.

“The problem we have is his speed, because often against fighters with hand speed like that, you react too late, so my focus is on Broner’s body language, to read the moves before the shots.

“My current day starts at 6am and ends when the DVD player is switched off after 12.30am.

“Adrien Broner is looking past Gary Sykes, calling out the big names, getting into verbals with his peers. Don Curry called out Marvin Hagler in a similar way and never saw Lloyd Honeyghan coming and Broner won’t see us.”

McGowan has also arranged sparring with a range of different opponents to help combat any eventuality on May 19.

Sykes was in Bolton sparring Steven Smith on Tuesday and has also faced unbeaten prospect John Quigley in Manchester.

Others who will spar in the coming days are Tommy Coyle, Carl Johanneson, who now fights at lightweight, and Leeds’ British light welterweight title challenger Adil Anwar.

Local people have rallied round offering Team Sykes help.

Sykes has been using the athletics track at Spenborough for his sprint work, while another Leeds boxer Josh Warrington has agreed to provide sparring in the early hours of the morning.

McGowan added: “The support is great, people want Gary to do well because he’s such a nice lad and he works hard but the unsung heroes are Mark Hurley and Jake Milo, who work with Gary every single morning and are a vital part of the team.

“All their work is done away from the cameras, with no praise or reward.

“These two lads made me stay in boxing.”

Sykes is planning to hold an open training session at the Central Boxing Club, in Dicky’s Gym, next Friday before departing for Las Vegas.