Sykes steps up sparring for world title shot

GARY Sykes has been sparring a range of different opponents as he builds towards his WBO World super featherweight title shot against Adrien Broner at The Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas on Saturday May 19.

Sykes was in Bolton sparring with former British featherweight champion Steven Smith on Tuesday and has also faced unbeaten prospect John Quigley in Manchester.

Others who will visit the Central Boxing Club in Batley to spar Sykes in the coming days are Hull’s Tommy Coyle, former British title rival Carl Johanneson, who now fights at lightweight, and Leeds’ British light welterweight title challenger Adil Anwar.

Sykes has been using the athletics track at Spenborough for his sprint work, while another Leeds boxer Josh Warrington has agreed to provide sparring in the early hours of the morning as Sykes gets used to fighting at Las Vegas time.

Trainer Julian McGowan said: “The support we have had is great.

“People want Gary to do well because he’s such a nice lad and he works hard but the unsung heroes are Mark Hurley and Jake Milo, who work with Gary every single morning and are a vital part of the team.”

Sykes is inviting fans to an open training session next Friday (May 11) at the Central Club, located in Dicky’s Gym in Batley, before he jets out to Las Vegas around a week before the fight.