Sykes’ Commonwealth title dreams ended by Campbell

Luke Campbell lands a body shot against Gary Sykes last Saturday. Picture: Dean Woolley
Luke Campbell lands a body shot against Gary Sykes last Saturday. Picture: Dean Woolley

Dewsbury boxer Gary Sykes saw his dream of Commonwealth title glory ended by Luke Campbell at the Sheffield Arena last Saturday.

Sykes went into the fight confident of inflicting second straight defeat on the former Olympic gold medal winner but Campbell proved a slick operator to force a second round stoppage.

Campbell used his superior southpaw reach to good effect, keeping Sykes at range as he boxed off the jab in the first round.

Sykes had success with a body shot at the start of the second round, followed by a left to Campbell’s head as the Dewsbury man looked to work an opening.

In the blink of an eye however, Campbell swung the fight in his favour, clipping Sykes with a right to the top of his head.

Sykes was momentarily stunned but it was enough for Campbell to seize the opportunity, pouncing to knock him down.

Sykes beat the count but Campbell sensed an early stoppage and a left sent the Dewsbury man crashing back onto the ropes.

Campbell surged forward and unleashed a barrage of shots to the body and head.

With nothing coming back from Sykes, referee Steve Gray had no option but to wave the fight off, as the Sykes corner threw the towel in at the same time.

Campbell had completed victory two minutes 58 seconds into the second round as he was crowned Commonwealth lightweight champion and became the first boxer from Hull to win a major professional title.

Sykes said: “Luke made a point of coming across and telling me I’m a warrior.

“He said he knew he had to get me out of there as I would come strong in the later rounds and I was thinking exactly the same.

“I wanted to take him into the trenches but all of I sudden, I got caught at the top of my head.

“I tried to fight back but a body shot went in and it took the wind out of me.

Sykes added: “I want Luke Campbell to go on and do well and prove I haven’t lost to a nobody.

“I lost to Liam Walsh and I think he is very good and I’ve now lost to Luke, who I hope goes on and does well.

“I am enjoying training and feel as though I have a lot of life left in me.

“I think I’ve still got something left but we will have to see.”