Boxing: Ace Carl has got champion Sykes in his sights

Harehills super-featherweight Carl Johanneson knows a thing or two about disappointment.

The 32-year-old puncher returned to boxing after a two-year hiatus at the beginning of 2010 and had hoped a shot at regaining the British

title he once proudly held would soon follow.

But he's been left to watch on while local rival Gary Sykes has basked in the glory of being the current domestic champion.

Johanneson, right, returns to action in a Sky televised bill at the Doncaster Dome this Saturday against an as yet to be confirmed opponent after the highly rated Akaash Bhatia pulled out.

If he wins he'll face Manchester's Anthony Crolla next with the winner hopefully set to face Sykes in the spring.

"I don't know who I'm fighting this time but I'm prepared to take on whoever is there," Johanneson said.

"I'm going to win this weekend, then fight Crolla and then it should be Sykes.

"I just want my title back. I did think I'd get a chance last year so hopefully it'll be this year now.

"It's been a long wait and I don't like waiting. I'm not a champion any more so I feel like people are putting my career on the backburner but when the time comes I'll take the British title back."

Dewsbury's Sykes suffered the first loss of his professional career in November when he was knocked out in one round by Welshman Gary Buckland in the semi-final of Barry Hearn's Prizefighter tournament.

It was a defeat that shocked many. To Johanneson, however, it came as no surprise.

"I knew it was only a matter of time before he got clocked because he hasn't even been tested yet," he said. "He hasn't had hard fights as British champion because his opponents have been picked for him.

"I can't believe he's had two voluntaries. I never had two voluntaries when I was British champion. If he's still got it when I'm the mandatory challenger I'll be taking it back.

"I know I can beat anybody hands down and I'll beat Sykes easily when the chance comes."

He added: "I've got a lot left at British and European level. I'm in the prime of my life now and I can't wait to get my chance to prove it."

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