Dewsbury star Sykes counting down towards exciting 2013

Gary Sykes in action against Kevin O'Hara in his British title fight.  May 2010 Pictures: Javed Iqbal.
Gary Sykes in action against Kevin O'Hara in his British title fight. May 2010 Pictures: Javed Iqbal.

DEWSBURY’S Gary Sykes admits he cannot wait for the arrival of 2013 and has promised his fans an exciting year as he bids to re-capture his British super featherweight crown and win the coveted Lonsdale belt for keeps.

Although the latest British rankings have placed Sykes in the lightweight division, the 28-year-old says he has no intention of moving up from his preferred super featherweight and has set out his intentions for the year ahead.

Sykes said: “I can’t wait until 2013 comes round and it is going to be an exciting year.

“I’m fighting at the end of February in Leeds, ironically the venue where I made my professional debut, and that looks like being for the English title against either Troy James or Jonny Kayes.

“I simply can not lose that fight and that it was it spurring me on as a win could mean a defence in Dewsbury and would also put me in a prime position to fight for the British again.

“It has always been an ambition for me to fight in front of my home fans and although it was mentioned when I was British champion, this time people from Dewsbury Sports Centre have approached Julian (McGowan) and seem keen to stage a show.

“The main aim is to win the British title back. Perhaps I’ve taken my career for granted in the past but losing the title is what is making me drive harder to get it back.

“If we filled Dewsbury Sports Centre I see no reason why I can’t box there again for the British title.

“I’m older now and I am going to give this year everything. I won’t be taking any time off once I’ve boxed and as soon as the new year comes, we will be going at full barrel — it just can’t come soon enough.”

Sykes also admits that having gym mates Josh Warrington and Tony Aitcheson training alongside him at the Central Boxing Club in Batley, is striving him to work harder.

Sykes added: “I’ve not had much chance to train along team-mates and if we were to all be fighting on the same bill, the buzz in the gym would be fantastic.”

n Josh Warrington will parade his English featherweight title belt at Elland Road during Leeds United’s game against Middlesbrough this Saturday. The 21-year-old defeated Chris Male in Dudley last month to win the title and is set to make a first defence in his home city in February.