GARY SYKES will make the first defence of his British super-featherweight title on a Huddersfield Sports Centre boxing show which will include stablemates Tyrone Nurse, Burt Warren and Josh Warrington.
And fight manager Chris Aston is predicting another crowd-pleasing bout when the 26-year-old champion faces Irish ace Kevin O’Hara in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday, May 28.
Sykes’ hard-fought 12-round victory over Manchester’s Andy Morris at the Sports Centre last month is already a fight of the year contender, and Aston said: “I’m confident Gary will win, but O’Hara has all the credentials to give him a proper test.”
The Belfast battler can boast 17 wins from 22 outings, with Aston pointing out: “His defeats have been against top names, and he’s never been stopped, never been put down and never really been hurt.”
Current world champions Choi Tseveenpurev, Willie Limond and Eddie Hyland, Commonwealth title holder Ricky Burns and highly-rated Henry Castle are the men to have defeated O’Hara, 28.
“It’s fair to say he’s a handful,” added Aston, who also had Mancunians Anthony Crolla and Steve Foster and Bradford’s Femi Fehintola on his radar as potential opponents.
“His style is slightly more deliberate, but Gary will have to get rounds in the bag early on in the knowledge that O’Hara will come strong later in the fight. Gary will have to box, think and scrap all at the same time, and I’m really looking forward to it!”
Like Dewsbury-based Sykes, who will be fighting for the 16th time, Nurse, Warren and Warrington will all bring 100% records to the ring.
All three fought on last month’s show with lightweight Nurse, 20, clinching his 12th pro success at the expense of Sheffield’s Adam Kelly.
Fellow Huddersfield man Warren, the 22-year-old middleweight, stopped Nottingham’s Matt Scriven for his third win inside the distance and fourth in all.
And Leeds super-bantam Warrington, 19, chalked up his third victory, on points against local rival Danny McDermid.