By Andrew Hunt
boxer GARY Sykes admits fighting in Las Vegas next month will be a dream come true.
The 28-year-old super featherweight from Dewsbury will face world number one Adrien Broner at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the undercard to Amir Khan’s world title fight against Lamond Peterson on May 19.
Although Broner’s WBO World title will not be at stake for the 10-round showdown, Sykes will be aiming to become the first man to defeat the American superstar.
However, there are no thoughts of Sykes and trainer Julian McGowan going to Vegas for a holiday and they are planning one of the biggest shocks in boxing history.
Sykes said: “I know I’m a big, big underdog and I would love to see the odds against me winning but I think I’ve earned this chance and I deserve to be in there with him.
“I have never gone into the ring thinking I’m going to lose and I never will.
“Broner is a genuine world champion and it’s Las Vegas. I’m going to enjoy it but you have got to be in it to win it.
“I’ve been told if I beat him, I will automatically become a superstar. I have also been criticised by some for taking this fight. People have said I’m going to get slaughtered but I’m realising the dream of every young boxer by fighting in Vegas against the best in the world and not many can say they have done that.”
Sykes’s trainer Julian McGowan is the man who aims to put together a game plan to beat Broner, who has won all 23 of his bouts, 19 by knock-out.
McGowan has already studied tapes of Broner and believes there is a chink in the world champion’s armour.
“We are going to take Broner into the trenches, to places where he has never been before,” he said. “He may have a massive entourage and back slappers but when everyone else gets out of the ring, there will be just two men left and everything else is irrelevant.
“Broner is going to have to be on top of his game and that’s exactly what we will be preparing for.
“Gary has shown a champion’s heart in several of his fights. He has been knocked out, he has been knocked down and got up to win and he has also been involved in some real battles but Broner has never experienced any of those things. He has been used to knocking opponents out in the first round.
“People see Broner as this fearsome undefeated world champion. He may have been brought up in the ghettos of Cincinnati but Gary Sykes is a tough kid and if Broner thinks we are going there to survive and get through the early rounds he is badly mistaken.
“Every footballer dreams about scoring in an FA Cup final, snooker players dream of playing at The Crucible and tennis players winning Wimbledon. Boxers dream of fighting in Vegas and we now have the chance.
“But we are not going to Vegas to get autographs and shake hands with Oscar De La Hoya, we are going there to cause a huge upset – even if that means we will be the most unpopular men in Vegas on the night.
“I am immensely proud and I think we have earned this shot. Me and Gary share a special bond and we have been extremely loyal to each other and we now have our reward.”
Sykes has been in the gym since beating Dean Mills in Hull last month and most of his preparations for Broner will be made at the Central Boxing Club in Batley. He has also been given permission to use facilities at Spenborough athletics track for sprint work.
If Sykes manages to upset the odds on May 19 it would certainly send shockwaves around the boxing world.