Sykes to face Swifty Smith in eliminator

Gary Sykes v Jon Kays'English super featherweight title defence. Motorpoint Arena Sheffield
Gary Sykes v Jon Kays'English super featherweight title defence. Motorpoint Arena Sheffield

Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes is set to meet Liverpool’s Stephen Smith in a British super featherweight final eliminator later this year.

As reported on our website last week, The British Boxing Board of Control has put the fight out to purse bids and have ordered the contest to take place before the end of September, with Sykes’s English title also likely to be on the line.

British title holder Gary Buckland has been ordered to defend his crown against John Simpson and the winner will then face the victor of the Sykes-Smith showdown.

It promises to be an exciting few months for Dewsbury star Sykes, who will fight in front of his home crowd on June 15 before tackling Smith in the new boxing season.

Liverpool’s Smith, nicknamed Swifty, has only lost one of 16 contests, although much of his career has been at featherweight.

Victory for Sykes in Dewsbury, followed by success over Scouser Smith, would mean the Dewsbury man would be likely to fight for the British title — and the chance to win the Lonsdale belt outright — in his 30th professional bout.

Tony Aitcheson will be chief support to the Sykes fight in Dewsbury on June 15 and a former amateur stablemate Jack Sunderland is also on the bill.

Middleweight Sunderland, from Drighlington, fought just 17 times as an amateur, out of the Cleckheaton Boxing Academy, before turning pro in 2010.

Working away and a minor problem with his medical has restricted Sunderland to seven fights in the paid ranks but he is looking forward to returning to the ring for what should be an explosive night.

Sunderland said: “I started as an amateur around the time of Gary’s second professional fight.

“I spend a lot of time working away as en electrician but that makes be train harder when I’m at home.

“I can’t believe Gary has never fought in Dewsbury before and this will be the closest I’ve fought to home. When I fought in Barnsley for the (International Masters middleweight) title, I took around 120 supporters and I’m sure I will have another good following and just can’t wait to get back in the ring.”

Ticket details for June 15

Gary Sykes will fight in front of his home crowd for the first time in what promises to be a momentous occasion for the whole area.

Promoter Steve Wood has packed the undercard full of local talent, with Tony Aitcheson providing chief support to the Sykes’ fight at Dewsbury Sports Centre on June 15.

Tickets are available from Mark Waters on 07890 071883, from Dicky’s Gym in Batley and are now on sale at Dewsbury Sports Centre