Yorkshire’s Finest set for Elland Road

Gary Sykes v Jon Kays'English super featherweight title defence. Motorpoint Arena Sheffield
Gary Sykes v Jon Kays'English super featherweight title defence. Motorpoint Arena Sheffield
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Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes and Central Boxing Club stablemate Josh Warrington are preparing for a huge night of Yorkshire boxing at Elland Road on September 27.

Sykes will fight a six-round warm-up bout, with London based Jamaican Mark McKray the likely opponent, as he builds towards a crack at regaining the British super featherweight title.

Purse bids were due to the British Boxing Board of Control on Wednesday for Stephen Smith’s first defence of his Lonsdale belt against the Dewsbury Moor man and Sykes’s bout in two weeks time will play a part in his preparations for that title shot.

Warrington will headline the September 27 show, being billed by promoters as ‘Yorkshire’s Finest’, defending his English featherweight crown against Berkshire’s Ian Bailey

Batley’s Central Club has also been hosting Warrington’s former opponent Jamie Speight, who has based himself in West Yorkshire in preparation for his own title fight.

Both Sykes and Warrington have been sparring world champions in the build up to the Elland Road bill.

Sykes played a key role in Ricky Burns’s preparations for last week’s WBO lightweight title fight against Raymundo Beltran, which ended in a controversial draw.

Warrington meanwhile has been travelling to Doncaster to spar IBF bantamweight world champion Jamie McDonnell.

Bailey has won nine and lost 14 of his 23 bouts to date but is the reigning southern area featherweight champion having defeated Dan Naylor in July.

Warrington defeated Bailey over four rounds in 2011 but he is leaving nothing to chance on what is going to be a huge night in the 22 year-old’s career.

Warrington said: “I boxed Ian before. It was only a four rounder but that last time I underestimated him a little bit and I won’t be doing it this time.

“He turned out to be tougher than I expected. I still managed to get the win but I’ve heard about him turning up and causing upsets and he’s not one to be taken lightly. It’s a big scalp for him and a chance to get revenge after the last fight.

“I’m hoping to get a shot at the British this season. This fight will be the second defence of my English title and I think it’s now time to step it up a level.”

Yorkshire’s Finest at Elland Road brings together the county’s best boxers, with Leeds duo Adil Anwar and China Clarke, along with Hull’s Tommy Coyle, also on the bill.

Josh Warrington’s English featherweight fight against Ian Bailey is top of the bill and he can be contacted on 07936 421459 for tickets.

Sykes also has a batch of tickets on sale, by contacting the Central Boxing Club, Dicky’s Gym, Hick Lane, Batley.