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SYKES TARGETS TITLE AFTER TURNING PRO; BOXING.

Byline: Matt Bozeat

TEENAGE talent Samson Sykes is turning professional.

Manager Les Allen jnr has added Sykes to his stable of boxers - and hopes the former amateur star will make his paid debut on a big show at Bedworth Civic Hall on Friday, May 31. Allen jnr is planning a big bill of international action topped by Troy James and also including Mike O'Hagan and the professional debuts of Arron Flinn, James Montgomery and Gabriel Connor.

Sykes is set to be matched at super flyweight and his super-slick southpaw skills and showmanship are sure to make him a big fans' favourite.

As an amateur with Capitol, he won four national titles, struck gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games and reached the quarter finals of the European Youth championships.

He celebrated all 41 of his 51 amateur wins with a back flip - and reckons he will have plenty more to celebrate in his professional career.

"I want to win as many titles as I can as quickly as I can," said the 19-year-old from Hinckley.

"I won everything I wanted to win as an amateur and that's why I've decided to turn professional.

"I train every day and I'm ready. I reckon I can win the British title."

Sykes is sticking with the trainer who helped him win amateur honours.

Andre Yerou has been handed his pro-am trainer's licence and will be in Sykes' corner during his professional career.

"Samson has the skills and dedication to go all the way," said Yerou - and his optimism is shared by Allen jnr.

He said: "Samson is a great talent and in two or three years, he can be boxing for the British title.

"Louis Norman is ranked in the top five in the country and Samson beat him three times in the amateurs, so that gives some indication of his capabilities.

"I'm looking forward to working with Samson and trying to get him to the top."

Allen jnr hopes boxing bosses will hand Martin Concepcion a crack at the English middleweight championship.

Concepcion rewrote the history books to become a three-weight Midlands Area champion - and Allen jnr hopes that will lead to a crack at the St George's belt.

Butler claimed the vacant English title with a tenth-round stoppage of Thomas Costello - and Allen jnr has written to the British Boxing Board of Control asking for Concepcion to be made his mandatory challenger.

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AMBITION: Les Allen jnr with Samson Sykes, who has turned professional.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 19, 2013
Words:413
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