Lonsdale belt would mean more than World title

Julian McGowan has some stern words for Sykes.
Julian McGowan has some stern words for Sykes.

Gary Sykes admits winning the Lonsdale belt outright would mean more to him than picking up a world title.

The Dewsbury man challenges Liverpool’s Stephen Smith for the British super featherweight title at the Liverpool Echo Arena on December 7 and has already begun a 10-week training camp for arguably the biggest fight of his career.

Speaking after last Friday’s win over Mark McKray at Elland Road, Sykes said: “Winning that British title is not just about boxing for me, I will have achieved something with my life it would mean everything and whenever I retire, I’d be very happy.

“It means more to me than any world title I just want that Lonsdale belt.

“When I first started as a pro, Julian told me we would get a British title, which I never thought possible, now our aim is to get that British title for keeps.”

Sykes said that he was nervous about last Friday’s bout against dangerous puncher McKray and was just glad to get the fight out of the way.

The 29-year-old added: “It was like I was boxing on egg shells because my mind was that I just had to do six rounds.

“I didn’t want to get involved and didn’t want to get caught.

“There was no real game plan for it was just a case of getting me through.

“Julian has already grilled me and said we will be doing so much tech work for Smith and there will be so much structure to the way we 
box.

“We are just doing one long camp now and I am straight back in the gym preparing for Smith.

“I felt the pressure on Friday and I just wanted to get it out of the way.

“Every round felt about 10 minutes long because I just wanted it over.”