Sykes vows to rise for challenge on big stage

Gary Sykes
Gary Sykes

Dewsbury’s British champion Gary Sykes is excited about the prospect of fighting on the biggest card of the boxing year when he meets Liam Walsh in London on November 29.

Sykes was due to meet Walsh for the then vacant British super featherweight title in February but injury twice forced the Cromer man to withdraw.

The 30-year-old subsequently overcame Jon Kays to regain the British title and win the Lonsdale belt outright in May but a proposed defence against Walsh fell through due to a horrendous finger injury sustained by the Dewsbury man.

The two are now finally set to meet at London’s ExCel Arena, with Walsh’s Commonwealth strap also on the line, on what is set to be a huge night of boxing.

Tyson Fury’s grudge heavyweight clash with Dereck Chisora will top the bill but a stacked undercard also incudes Frankie Gavin tackling Bradley Skeete for the British and Commonwealth welterweight titles.

Unbeaten middleweights Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Junior will also clash on a card promoter Frank Warren has billed ‘Bad Blood’.

Sykes admits fighting on such a big bill excites him and is hoping he finally gets to meet Walsh, who boasts an unblemished 16-fight record.

Sykes, who trains out of Central Boxing in Batley under the tutorledge of Julian McGowan, said: “I’ve had four months out injured and that is the longest I’ve had away from the gym in my entire career.

“I’ve got a nine-and-a-half week camp and this is a chance for me to get another belt.

“The hard work has already started with John (Tallant) and Julian putting me through agony but as soon as I get my fitness back, I know I’ll start feeling confident about the fight.

“There has been talk of me and Walsh fighting in the past but he pulled out twice and then I injured my finger.

“Walsh came up to Dewsbury the night I beat Jon Kays to win the British title and he also watched me box Kevin Hooper (for the English title).”

“It’s great to be fighting on such a big bill, which has just got even bigger with Frankie Gavin added to it.

“It’s also another road trip for my fans and I’ll hope to take as many down to London as possible.”