Sykes determined to see title return home next year

BOXER Gary Sykes has vowed to do everything in his power to bring the British super featherweight title back to Dewsbury next year, writes Andrew Hunt.

Sykes lost a close points decision to Cardiff’s Gary Buckland in September but the 27-year-old from Dewsbury Moor remains just one win away from claiming the Lonsdale belt outright.

Having taken time out to assess his performance against Buckland, Sykes admitted he got things wrong but is determined to come back stronger and better in the new year.

Sykes said: “I wanted to get into a war with Buckland to prove myself after prizefighter. I didn’t do anything I was told but I know I can still beat him.

“I have read that Buckland would like to go for the European title and believes a fight against (holder) Ermano Fegatilli would be easier than his British title fight against me.”

Julian McGowan trained Sykes as an amateur and the pair have been together for all but one of his 21 professional fights.

Any thoughts of McGowan retiring after the Buckland defeat were quickly put aside in a bid to regain the Lonsdale belt. Sykes could be back in the ring as early as February but as yet no date or opponent has been selected.

McGowan said: “I don’t know any other coach and fighter who went as far as we did with as little resources. People have speculated about me walking away or Gary seeking a new coach, but these are the same people who doubted us from the start.

“We have a bond, work as a team, and we will decide when the time is right – no-one else.”