It was a war of attrition today in Sheffield, and at the end of it, there was a new British super featherweight champion crowned. Gary Buckland outworked Gary Sykes to defeat the defending champion for a second time in the last year, winning on unanimous decision scores of 115-114, 115-113, and 116-113. Bad Left Hook scored it 116-112 for Buckland.
Buckland (24-2, 8 KO) had a motor that just would not stop running in this fight, and that was enough to separate him from Sykes (19-2, 5 KO) over the long haul. After a fast start from Buckland, there was some concern that his pace would negatively affect him in the second half of the bout, but it didn't happen. No matter what adjustments Gary Sykes made, Buckland was there to meet him head-on.
Sykes did sting Buckland a couple of times in the fight, but so did Buckland hurt Sykes. Overall, it was just better, harder, largely cleaner punching from Buckland that carried the day, though neither fighter has a thing to be ashamed of. They both gave a great effort, and Sykes fought the 12th round very hard, doing what he could to find a knockout that was unlikely to come.
In the televised co-feature, Rendall Munroe (23-2, 9 KO) had a glorified sparring session with alleged "world class operator" Ryuta Miyagi (21-6-4, 16 KO). Munroe did what he did and won easily, 98-92 on the referee's card and 99-91 on the Bad Left Hook card, but he will be criticized a bit for what was a laborious effort that amounted more to a workout than a fight, and I might be in the minority, but I don't want to see "workouts" when I'm watching professional prizefighting.