Sykes vows to become proud English champion

Gary Sykes aiming to become English champion tonight.
Gary Sykes aiming to become English champion tonight.
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Gary Sykes has vowed to bring an end to Kevin Hooper’s unbeaten record tonight (Friday) and become English super featherweight champion.

The Dewsbury star will travel to the Beachcomber Club in Cleethorpes, where he plans to silence a vociferous home crowd, end Hooper’s 13 fight winning run and propel himself back into British title contention.

Sykes said: “Usually boxers go for the English title and work their way up to British level but I am doing it backwards.

“This is a way back up for me but it’s also a belt and I want to pick up as many belts as I can whatever they may be.

“He’s undefeated but I’m going to give him a fair sample of what defeat is like.

“It’s been a good camp. The sparring has been bang on and it has been quality sparring.

“I don’t think any camp will be as good as I was when training for Adrien Broner, when I was in the best shape ever, but I’m still in very good shape and I’m ready.”

Sykes and trainer Julian McGowan have planned meticulously for Hooper and are ready for any tactics the Grimsby man may bring to the ring.

Sykes added: “He’s coming down (from lightweight) and thinks he is going to be strong for the weight but he’s in for a shock.

“I stepped up to lightweight for Prizefighter and felt as strong as anyone and even though I was up against some of the best in the country, I more than matches them.

Around 60 Sykes supporters will be travel to Cleethorpes for the fight and the 29-year-old has appealed everyone to get together on roar him to victory in what is sure to be an atmospheric venue.

Sykes added: “It would be great for them all to sit together and I hope they take their voices with them. There’s also the chance of a defence in Dewsbury which would be a dream.”

A coach will leave the Fox & Hounds Pub in Hanging Heaton at 4.30pm and space is still available.