Advertisement
Advertisement

Gary Sykes is a Live Dog To Get Prizefighter Glory

By Dereck Bilton

If there has been a more competitive Prizefighter than Saturday's lightweight edition, then I must have missed it.

Eight fighters go to war in Liverpool to claim lightweight bragging rights - and not to mention the small matter of a cheque for £32,000 - live on Sky.

The field is an absolute cracker and fireworks look assured on Merseyside, where local hero Derry Matthews is the favourite at 5/2 for glory.

'Dirty' Derry is a veteran of the game even though he is just 29, and he has already made the final of a Prizefighter event - at super-featherweight in 2010.

His career looked dead in the water a couple of years ago but the popular Scouser regrouped and even reigned as British lightweight champion for a brief period earlier this year.

He has a great draw here too. Ranked against tournament outsider Jamie Spence first up, the 30-7-1 (16) Matthews then would meet the winner of the clash between Terry Flannigan and Liam P Walsh in the semi-finals. He'd be a betting favourite against either so the layers are keen to keep Derry onside.

Personally, though, I feel Matthews may be one to swerve.

He's had a long, arduous career and his nose in particular has shipped some horrendous punishment over the years. One wonders how it would hold up to three hell-for-leather fights off the belt in one night.

He's also lost two of his last three by stoppage so while he would unquestionably prove a popular winner I don't see him prevailing.

The afore-mentioned Flannigan and Walsh should put on a decent fight in the quarter-finals. Manchester man Flannigan is unbeaten in 15 starts as a pro but he is a career super-featherweight and he could be found wanting physically this weekend.

Walsh is a big fellow and he's also ambitious having lost just once in 11 starts (a shock reversal to Stuart Green earlier this year). Walsh really does live and breathe the game and I can see him leaving it all in the ring against Flannigan. If he can pin down the elusive Mancunian, he looks a great bet at 6/4 to make the last four.

Anthony Crolla is the British boss Matthews deposed in a shock back in April, and many are fancying the Joe Gallagher-trained stylist to breathe new life into his career by winning in Liverpool.

The 23-3 (9) Crolla has bags of skill and is a bona fide lightweight. However I am not sure how much that Matthews defeat has taken out of him and he looks plenty short to me at 11/4 especially given the fact he meets local darkhorse Stephen Jennings first up.

Jennings can bang, loves a tear-up and might just be inspired by a vociferous home crowd to cause a shock in the lower half of the draw, where Gary Sykes is also based.

Sykes is another former British champion and he already holds a win over Crolla (on points in 2009).

A smooth, fluent operator who was a top-class amateur, Sykes looked to be en route to Prizefighter glory in 2010 before being taken out in less than a minute by Gary Buckland in what was considered at the time a sensational upset (Buckland went on to beat Sykes again, on points, in a British title thriller a year later).

Those defeats have cost Sykes financially and in terms of career progression but a win this weekend would put him right back in the mix.

Unbeaten Hull youngster Tommy Coyle looks anything but a given for Gary first up, but if he can negotiate a path past that I feel he has the class and fitness to claim the spoils at the Olympia.

Tags: Gary Sykes image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines AIBA Planning Additional Changes For Olympic Boxers Golovkin's Coach: Only Floyd Mayweather Can Really Test GGG Anthony Upton Drills Luke Paddock For English Title Abel Sanchez: No Pacquiao, I Want Crawford vs. Danny Garcia! Alan Castano: My Goal Was To Win, Not Outdo My Brother “Fighting Words” - When Good Fighters Meet Great Ones Canelo's Trainer Wants Him To Knock Liam Smith Out Vide: Jose Ramirez on Crawford's Performance, Ring Return WBC Prez Feels Crawford Could Be Another Floyd Mayweather Video: Oscar Valdez on His Big World Title Win Video: Lenny Zappavigna on His Knockout Win of Ik Yang Video: Jessie Vargas Talks Crawford, Benavidez, More Donaire Prepares For Mandatory Defense With Magdaleno Valdez Has No Problem With REVENGE Fight With Lomachenko Video: Gilberto Ramirez Talks Crawford vs. Postol, More Crawford: Postol Did NOT Want To Fight or Exchange, He Ran Video: Viktor Postol Explains His Defeat To Terence Crawford Ryota Murata Wants Billy Joe Saunders Title Shot Delvin Rodriguez Gets Close Decision Over Shawn Cameron Tim Bradley on Amir Khan's MMA Move - "He's a Clown!" Video: Terence Crawford Talks Postol Victory, Strategy, More Roach: Crawford's Speed Was Too Much, We Needed a KO Jessie Vargas, Jose Benavidez Trade Words - Fight Looming? Brandon Figueroa Admits Sluggish Performance, Plans Brief Rest Video: Nonito Doniare on Pacquiao-Crawford, Postol, More Video: Sulaiman on Crawford, Amir Khan, Chocolatito, Wilder Video: Tim Bradley on Pacquiao-Crawford, Coming Back, More Marcos Maidana Noncommittal on Ring Return Photos: Oscar Valdez Demolishes Rueda For First World Title Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs. Joe Smith Jr. WBC Eliminator in Play Photos: Crawford Dominates Postol To Unify - HUGE Gallery Postol: I Tried To Make an Exciting Fight, Crawford Was Running Anthony Mundine vs. Danny Green Rematch Inching Closer Photos: Marcos Maidana Resurfaces in The United States Crawford: Yuriorkis Gamboa is Still The Toughest Fight I've Had Terence Crawford: Manny Pacquiao Must Fight Me at 140! Roach Likes The Idea of Pacquiao vs. Crawford, at 140-Pounds Crawford Trainer: We Weren't on Roach's Level? Freddie Who? Crawford: I Hurt Postol With Every Solid Shot That Connected Terence Crawford Drops, Dominates Postol To Unify Titles
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement