GARY Sykes will focus on the challenges ahead after the devastating news his WBO world super featherweight title fight against Adrien Broner has been called off.
The 28-year old Dewsbury boxer was due to fly to Las Vegas this weekend to complete preparations but his dreams were left in tatters after American promoters Golden Boy cancelled the show.
Sykes’ world title fight would have been chief support to the re-match between Bolton’s Amir Khan and American Lamont Peterson.
That fight fell through after it was revealed Peterson had tested positive for a synthetic testosterone and the Nevada Athletics Commission refused to grant him a licence to fight.
Nevada Commission executive director, Keith Kizer, said: “I feel sorry for Amir Khan and all the undercard fighters who will not now be paid, as well as all the fans who bought tickets and made travel plans.”
Sykes has taken comfort from the support he has received from friends and will be ready when his next opportunity arises.
Sykes’ trainer Julian McGowan said: “I want everyone to know we are still focused and looking forward to the next few years.
“Some things are not meant to be and fighting for a world championship was one of them at this stage.
“We had a fantastic opportunity and now it has gone and may be lost forever but we stepped up and how many others do? This will not deter us from our goal and success at the Central Boxing Club.”
Sykes had switched to Las Vegas time to avoid getting jetlag, while he had been training up to four times a day for the fight.
McGowan added: “Gary showed me in the last few weeks he still has the skills, determination and love for boxing and the form that he has showed has been frightening.
“I am so proud of his efforts and the sacrifices he has made. We have a special team down at Dicky’s Gym and John Tallant and Mark Hurley have been my rocks.
“Good things can come from disappointment, it’s just a test we have to get through.
“In the 11th round against Andy Morris, one magical night in Huddersfield on March 5 2010, Gary was hurt, tired and behind on the scorecards in the fight of his life.
“I watched from three feet away in my corner position and held my breath. He took a deep gasp of oxygen, paused, then attacked non-stop with every ounce of energy and showed what he is – a champion.
“That moment is always etched in my mind. He’ll do this again and we won’t sleep until the Lonsdale belt is ours outright.”