Sykes has ambitions on Commonwealth crown

Gary Sykes has reflected on a turbulent few months out injured but has his sights set on adding the Commonwealth title to his Lonsdale belt. Picture: Jake Oakley
Gary Sykes has reflected on a turbulent few months out injured but has his sights set on adding the Commonwealth title to his Lonsdale belt. Picture: Jake Oakley
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Dewsbury boxer Gary Sykes has vowed to put four months of injury hell behind him by adding the Commonwealth title to his British crown.

Sykes heads to the capital on November 29 to meet undefeated super featherweight rival Liam Walsh on a huge night of boxing at London’s Excel Arena.

Headlining the bill is the mouthwatering British and European heavyweight clash between Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury, while bitter middleweight rivals Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Junior are also set to clash on an explosive night.

Sykes said: “This is probably the biggest bill I’ve boxed on.

“I fought on an Amir Khan bill before but this has a packed undercard and is going to be in front of a sell out crowd in London.

“At this stage of my career it is all about picking up belts and I want to add the Commonwealth to my British.”

Trainer Julian McGowan is renowned for being meticulous in preparing Sykes for fights and has already begun studying footage of Walsh as he puts together a game plan to secure another night of glory for the Dewsbury star.

After being out of action with a serious hand injury, Sykes is back in training and relishing another big night in his career.

McGowan’s Central Boxing base is also thriving with an influx of talented young fighters basing themselves at the Batley gym, who are affiliated to the ABA.

Sykes added: “I’ve been sparring Hamza Hussain, who is based with us at Central and is on the England squad.

“He’s a really talented kid and one to look out for in the future.”

Sykes is also due to become a dad for a second time, with his partner Natasha Blane expecting in February.

The 30-year-old said: “Life is sweet at the moment. I’ve moved house and now settled in Thornhill Lees.

“I’ve a great sponsor in Next Car, in Batley, who have really helped me and things are all fitting into place for me to hopefully capture another belt.

“Training was hard to start with, after such a long time out, but I’m loving being back at it in a thriving gym.”

The British Boxing Board of Control have taken Sykes’ cherished Lonsdale belt back so it can be engraved and polished, having confirmed he has won it outright.

Sykes has been handed an initial allocation of tickets for his British and Commonwealth unification fight against Cromer’s Liam Walsh at London’s Excel Arena on November 29.

General admission tickets, which include the Dereck Chisora v Tyson Fury heavyweight clash, are priced £50 but Sykes must make special orders for fans wanting ringside seats .

Sykes said: “I know these are a little more expensive than usual but I’m hoping my fans will come to London when I will look to put on another show and bring home another belt.”

Tickets are available from Mark Waters on 07890 071883 and from Central Boxing in Batley, while a coach to ferry supporters to the capital will also be running from Dewsbury.