Sykes stops Kays in the tenth to reclaim British super featherweight title

Sykes stops Kays in the tenth to reclaim British super featherweight title

25/05/2014 at 23:04Updated 25/05/2014 at 23:08

Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes (27-3) began his second stint as British Super Featherweight champion last night after halting a brave challenge from Ashton under Lyne’s John ‘2 Smokes’ Kays (18-4-1) in the tenth round at the Dewsbury Leisure Centre.

This was a rematch of last years’ English title fight in which Sykes came out on top via the judges. A lively opener was perhaps edged by visitor Kays until Sykes landed a left hook to cause a bit of a bundle just before the bell.

Sykes went over and took a count early in the second, but it looked more like a backwards stumble. Kays threw accurate counters for the remainder of the round and hurt Sykes early in the third, but cheered on by his fans, the local man started to push Kays back.

While the pace dipped a little in the fourth and Sykes controlled the round, Kays stood his ground patiently and had more success with his counters in the fifth.

Much of the sixth was spent with Sykes putting pressure on, but a smart right hand knocked his gumshield out and forced a breather. Sykes got the better of exchanges in the seventh and had started to build up a points lead, taking the eighth. Kays was by no means done yet, and came back solidly at the end of the ninth.

But with a minute gone in the tenth, Sykes exploded with head and body shots that backed Kays up and caused referee Mike Alexander to jump between the pair and wave it off.

A delighted Sykes, well supported at the Dewsbury Leisure Centre, lifts the British super featherweight title once again. There should be no shortage of offers for the thirty year old to defend it on a bigger stage as he approaches the autumn of an impressive career

The card was streamed live on Steve Wood’s As for the main fight, it was for a real title and of better quality than some of those that have topped big TV bills of late.

Free internet streams, such as those provided by Wood and Dave Coldwell, are getting better. They are accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and there are a growing number of devices that can throw the picture onto your main TV screen.

If technology can provide a simple, realistic way to record them (there’s a market in semi-casual boxing fans that would ideally like to watch fights between, say, 12am and 2am, post-pub or post champions league final), or the promoters can find a way to upload the cards straight away to preserve immediacy, then surely it’s only a matter of time before bigger brands can be persuaded to part with larger lumps of cash in order to support them.