It's a knockout for Buckland!
Sykes suffers shock defeat at the hands of eventual champion
Last Updated: 21/11/10 11:31am
Buckland: A real knockout (Leighdawneyphotography.com)
Gary Buckland came out on top in the battle of the super-featherweights in the latest edition of the Prizefighter series at the York Hall in Bethnal Green.
"This is a great title I've just won, so I'm staying at super-feather. If Gary (Sykes) wants to get it on, then we will get it on"
Gary Buckland Quotes of the week
Welshman Buckland stopped Derry Mathews in the second round of the final thanks to a body shot that left his opponent gasping for air on the canvas.
The 24-year-old had already recorded a stunning stoppage success in his semi-final; a huge right handing Gary Sykes a first professional loss.
In the end his toughest fight on the night ending up being his first - Steve Bell taking him three rounds before losing unanimously on points.
"I'm feeling on top of the world," Buckland told Sky Sports afterwards.
"I'd done a good 10 weeks of training and I knew it was going to be a hard competition. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me, so far.
"After boxing at lightweight and boxing John Murray, who was really strong, then moving down to super-featherweight I felt stronger than him (Mathews)."
Buckland's two impressive KO victories landed him a cheque for £32,000 - and also paved the way for a crack at the British title currently held by Sykes.
"This is a great title I've just won, so I'm staying at super-feather. If Gary wants to get it on, then we will get it on," he added.
Sykes had come into the tournament as the favourite and looked good in his opening bout, comfortably beating Scott Lawton on points in the fourth quarter-final.
However his hopes of success - as well as his perfect record - disappeared inside 45 seconds against Buckland when he paid dearly for dropping his left hand. The shot floored him and he never came close to beating the count.
The stunning defeat helped make the night a real success in the eyes of Prizefighter creator Barry Hearn.
Mathews himself had impressively stopped Gary McArthur in his quarter-final before beating Choi Tseveenpurev on points in a real tear-up that could have gone either way on the judges' scorecards.
"After last Saturday (with David Haye v Audley Harrison) we really needed a night of British boxing at its best, and tonight we saw eight fighters at their best and a very, very worthy winner," said Hearn.
"All credit to the British champion for participating, because that's the type of endeavour. Prizefighter (has) really puts the spirit back into British boxing."