GARY BUCKLAND believes his Mexican boxing experience has bolstered his chances of claiming Gary Sykes’ British super-featherweight title.
Dewsbury ace Sykes, who has a tickover fight in Huddersfield later this month, must take on Welshman Buckland by the end of October.
The 27-year-old Yorkshireman will have a double incentive in the shape of revenge and the chance of earning a Lonsdale belt to keep.
The only defeat on his 19-bout card to date was a stoppage at the hands of Cardiff’s Buckland in the Prizefighter tournament in November.
But he bounced back by defending his British crown against seasoned Leeds star Carl Johanneson in Huddersfield in March.
That was the second time he has put the belt on the line – Irishman Kevin O’Hara was outpointed last year – and a third successful defence spells a permanent prize.
But Buckland believes he has the beating of Sykes, who won his title at the expense of Manchester’s Andy Morris in March 2010.
The 25-year-old, who beat Jose Roberto Gonzalez in his own backyard earlier this month, said: “Mexico was a great experience.
“Everything was good, the people, the place and the fight. I enjoyed it, the only thing that was hard to deal with was the heat.
“It was a great experience for when I get a big title shot and it’s great news that I’ll finally be fighting Gary Sykes. I’ve been waiting a long time for my chance.”
Purse bids for the Sykes-Buckland showdown must be submitted to the British boxing board by July 13.
And the clash could be on the same show as Jamie McDonnell’s European, British and Commonwealth bantamweight unification bout against Stuart Hall in September.
Buckland said: “It would be nice to be Cardiff or Newport, but I just want to fight him and become British champion.
“Sykes is a good fighter, you can’t get away from that, so I can’t take anything for granted. But I watched the Johanneson fight and he got dropped again and I think he’ll be on the back foot.”
Also fighting on the Saturday July 23 Sports Centre show will be top Huddersfield trio Tyrone Nurse, Jason McCalmon and Alistair ‘Burt’ Warren.
Halifax fighters Liam Walsh, Shahzad Hussain and Scott Gladwin are also in action with ticket details available from Chris Aston on 07917 881114.