Gary Sykes will aim to send a clear message to the British Boxing Board of Control when he meets Manchester’s Jonny Kays at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield tomorrow.
Sykes defends his English super featherweight title on the undercard to Amir Khan’s huge international showdown with Mexican Julio Diaz.
But it is a shot at the British title Sykes seeks most and victory over Kays could force the Board’s hand into mandating him to fight for the Lonsdale belt once more.
Trainer Julian McGowan knows the importance of tomorrow, saying: “Everything rests on this fight and if things didn’t go our way on Saturday, we would have to have a serious talk about where we go.
“Gary wants to win belts, the British and then go on to European level but everything hinges on a win.
“Although Gary went into Prizefighter as a lightweight, we want the board to realise he is still competing at super featherweight and when he beats Kays, we feel he deserves to be mandated for a British title shot.”
Sykes lost his British title to Gary Buckland in September 2011 but since then the Welshman has only defended the Lonsdale belt twice.
Ironically, Buckland also fights tomorrow, against Fernando Saucedo in Argentina.
Some pundits are predicting victory for Buckland would see him vacate the British title to go in search of world honours and that would surely open the door for the Dewsbury man to earn a shot if he takes care of Kays first.
Tomorrow’s 11-fight bill, which is topped by Khan-Diaz and also includes British Olympic medallist Anthony Agogo and Audley Harrison, is been screened live by Box Nation and Sykes will enter the ring shortly after 7pm.