Back in March, Blackwledge suffered his defeat, a narrow points loss over ten rounds away to unbeaten Swedish prospect Erik Skoglund (17-0). Since then promoter Steve Wood and Blackledge have been keen to challenge the best in the super middleweight division, but the Clitheroe fighter claims he's being avoided:
“I've little amateur experience and have only had 15 pro fights so I don't know what they're running from.
“Rocky Fielding offered us a fight at two weeks’ notice, which we took, then pulled out five days before. He then knocked the fight back again and I'm very disappointed.
"Rocky did well in Prizefighter then he's just fought journeymen. It's not just him, there are other prospects avoiding me too, like Dean Halsall (7-0, Preston) and Eubank Junior (10-0) who've both knocked me back. I'd absolutely love to fight Eubank.
“I sparred about 30 rounds with Paul Smith recently, before he just won the British title and I gave as good as I got; it was a real 50-50 spar. So I really feel like I should be fighting for the British and I'd love a fight with Paul too. I'd fight for the English or British right now, I feel like I'm ready.”
Blackledge, 22, knows he cannot afford any slip-ups on Saturday against Huddersfield's Alistair Warren With the Central Area super-middleweight title at stake, he knows his opponent will be determined to add win number nine to his own 14-fight ledger.
“He's got good feet, can dig a bit and comes forward a lot,” says Luke who, in just his tenth fight, travelled to Denmark to KO former European champ Mads Larsen.
“But if I just stick to my boxing and pressure him then I believe I'll break him down in the later rounds. I've been getting some great sparring and will be ready. I'm top of the bill too so I'm very excited. It's going to be a great show, will be a really good atmosphere and I'm really looking forward to it.”
Promoter Steve Wood said: “He's been to Denmark twice as the underdog and hasn't batted an eyelid, and it'd be great for boxing fans in the UK if some of the other fighters had a similar attitude and were willing to step in with him. We'll be looking for an English or British title shot next for Luke and I think he can win either.
“This Bolton show is the start of big changes at VIP as we look to take things to another level. If fans can't come along then they can watch the show live and free on the Internet. These fighters deserve more exposure and we're looking to get more fans interested in the sport by making our shows more accessible. This is a bumper 15-fight card; there's some really good talent on like Shayne Singleton, and big punchers like Mark Thompson and Tomi Tatham. There'll be plenty of exciting fights, including a cracking Northwest derby scrap between Chris Jenkinson and Lyndon Newman, so please come along or tune in.”
The weigh-in for the 15 fight card will take place on Friday 19th July, 3pm at: Unit 220, Entrance 2, Metroplex Broadway, Salford Quays. The public are welcome to attend.
Pictured above: Blackledge v Mads Larsen, June 2012, Denmark
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