FRANK MALONEY believes Gary Sykes’ appeal to boxing fans can be Yorkshire-wide.
The British super-featherweight champion, pictured, already has strong backing in Huddersfield, where he made a successful first defence against Kevin O’Hara eight days ago, and his home town of Dewsbury.
And leading promoter Maloney said: “The likes of Henry Wharton, Paul Ingle, Herol Graham and Naseem Hamed all had a big Yorkshire following.
“I think Gary has the potential to be like them.”
Maloney hailed the backing the 26-year-old received against O’Hara at the Sports Centre, adding: “The crowd in Huddersfield have been excellent. As the fight went on, they really warmed to Gary and the crowd helped him.
“He is a likeable lad and an honest fighter with an exceptional workrate.”
After two Huddersfield outings, Sykes’s next fight could take place in Dewsbury, where former world super-middleweight champion Graham and Wharton, a former European, British and Commonwealth champion in the same division, both fought in the 1990s.
Potential opponents include Leeds star Carl Johanneson, who was a winner on the Huddersfield bill and a member of the Maloney stable, Andy Morris, the man Sykes defeated to take the title, and his fellow Mancunian Anthony Crolla.