Boxing: Johanneson v Sykes - it’s finally back on

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First it was on, then it was off, now it’s officially back on again.

Harehills’ Carl Johanneson will challenge Dewsbury’s reigning British super-featherweight champion Gary Sykes at the Huddersfield Sports Centre on March 5.

But a week ago the region’s biggest showdown for decades appeared unlikely as Sykes’ team believed Johanneson, pictured inset, would be unable to make the date and instead scheduled a defence against Middlesbrough’s Paul Truscott.

And it was only when the Leeds fighter, who is the recognised mandatory challenger, complained to his manager Frank Maloney and the British Boxing Board of Control that the mammoth West Yorkshire derby was sealed.

“I’m just happy the fight is finally happening and I can’t wait to get in there now,” said Johanneson, 32.

“We’ve sparring in the past but he’s improved since then so I’ll be looking for the best of Sykes and he’ll be looking for the best of me.

“It’s going to be really good fight.”


Photo gallery: 2018 Leeds Sports Awards - all the action from the ceremony