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Gary Sykes vs. Mark McKray on September 27th

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

Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting www.vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing and Facebook.

Double Trouble 2

Professional boxing returns to Walsall Town Hall in November with EJKO Promotions’ mouth-watering ‘Double Trouble 2’.

The show, on Saturday, 16th November, features a British Title Eliminator and British Masters Title fight at the top of the bill plus seven intriguing undercard bouts.

After recovering from their respective injuries, Cradley’s Chris Male (12-1) and Coventry’s Troy James (14-2-1) go head to head for a shot at the British Super Featherweight Title.

The Midlands pair were due to meet earlier this month but Male suffered a calf injury and James was struck down by illness. Now fully recovered, the pair lockhorns with the victor moving up the rankings and closer to a shot at the British Super Featherweight belt, currently held by Liverpool’s Stephen ‘Swifty’ Smith (17-1).

There’s also a title on the line. Stourbridge’s former Midlands Area Welterweight Champion, Steven Pearce (7-2) takes on Stafford’s Rob Hunt (17-2-2) for a British Masters Welterweight strap.

28-year old Pearce will be entering the ring for the first time since losing his Midlands Area Title to Sam Eggington in April and will be keen to get back to winning ways.

Hunt, 27, made an impressive return to the ring earlier this month with a convincing victory over Andrew Patterson at the Town Hall having been inactive since bowing out of Prizefighter with a deep cut at the turn of the year.

“It’s going to be an exciting show,” explained Promoter, Errol Johnson. “Male and James is a real 50/50 fight, so is Pearce and Hunt.

“There’s not much separating the fighters so boxing fans are in for a real treat. We’ve got seven fights on the undercard too, so it’s going to be a great night of boxing.”

Walsall’s, Chris Keane (10-1), is chief support. The Midlands Area Cruiserweight Champion defeated experienced Lithuanian Remigijus Ziausys for a second time earlier this month and will be looking for a sterner test this time around.

West Bromwich welterweight, Tom Stokes (3-0), will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of victories in his third professional fight whilst Tipton featherweight, Lee Glover (7-1), is also in action.

Stafford’s undefeated super middleweight, Grant Cunningham (8-0) features alongside Stoke lightweight, Andy Keates (7-1) and debutants Lennox Clarke (Halesowen super middleweight) and Ainsley Ratcliffe (Tipton flyweight) complete the card.

Tickets, priced at £30 and £60 Ringside, are available from Walsall Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. The aftershow party will take place at The Pitch Sports Bar and Grill, Bridge Street, Walsall.

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