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Gary Sykes Gets Elland Road Warm Up Before British Title Challenge



Gary Sykes gets a home assignment next when he lines up alongside Josh Warrington, Tommy Coyle, China Clarke and Adil Anwar on VIP Promotions’ ‘Yorkshire’s Finest’ show at Elland Road on September 27.

The show, aired live and free on VIPBOXING.TV, is the perfect opportunity for the Dewsbury native to hone his skills, against light-welterweight Mark McKray, before challenging Liverpool’s Stephen Smith later this year for his old belt – the British super-featherweight crown.

“It’s going to be a great night for Yorkshire boxing,” said Gary, who lost his domestic strap to Gary Buckland in 2011. “There’s some top talent on this show and I think the atmosphere should be electric. I’m really looking forward to it, and to seeing the others on the show. Josh Warrington defending his English title should be a really good fight and the rest of the line-up is quality.”

When Sykes does eventually clash with Scouser Smith, he knows he will be taking on a man in form. The Liverpudlian recently produced one of the punches of the year to flatten the aforementioned Buckland and will be high on confidence in the lead up to his first defence against ‘Five Star’.

Sykes, although impressed with the Smith demolition of Buckland, is up for the challenge. Determined not to take his eye off his Elland Road outing, ‘Syksey’ will look to get win number 24 in Leeds before fully focusing on his mission to outwit ‘Swifty’ and return to domestic dominance.

Gary said: “I was shocked and didn’t see that KO coming. I thought Buckland would just outwork Stephen and be too strong but that weren’t the case. I thought Smith’s performance were great. He kept moving and just never let him get on top of him. It was good tactics.

“He did exactly what his corner told him, he kept patient and then that shot just came. I think that was something they’d worked on, and the game plan came off to a ‘T’. They’ll be working on a game plan for me, but I’ve just got to try and stay ahead of that.

“I’m just not going to come out of that ring [against Smith] unless it’s with my hand up. We haven’t sorted a game plan out yet. We’re just training for the 27th September, get that out of the way and then it’s all geared towards Smith. We’ll study every little detail and I’m confident. He’ll be confident as well, so there’ll be two people in that ring who won’t want to lose.”

‘Yorkshire’s Finest’ will take place at Elland Road on September 27 and will be headlined by Josh Warrington defending his English featherweight title against Ian Bailey. The undercard will feature Dewsbury’s former British super-featherweight champion, Gary Sykes; Leeds’ recent British light-welterweight title challenger, Adil Anwar; and Hull’s Tommy Coyle, who was involved in a terrific Commonwealth lightweight title challenge in July. Also appearing will be Leeds’ China Clarke; Bradford’s Nate Joseph, and York’s Harry Matthews.

Tickets, priced at £30 (General) and £50 (Ringside) are available from all boxers or at www.vipbe.co.uk.

The show will also be streamed live and free at www.vipboxing.tv