Luke Blackledge is urging the UK’s best super-middleweight prospects to stop avoiding him, if he successfully comes through his next outing. ‘Robbo’ tops the bill at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on July 20 and, with the VIP Promotions show streamed live via VIPBOXING.TV, the Accrington fighter wants his peers to tune in – and then step up to the plate.
“I’ve little amateur experience and have only had 15 pro fights so don’t know what they’re running from,” said Blackledge, who has just a single defeat on his record. “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 [in Rocky].
“I’ve had to go to Denmark twice because I can’t get fights over here and I’m not getting the recognition I should. Rocky did well in Prizefighter then he’s just fought journeymen, and I know for a fact I’d beat him and that’s why he’s avoiding me. It’s not just him, there are other prospects avoiding me too, like Dean Halsall and Eubank Junior 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.”
With those big fights looming on the horizon, Luke knows he cannot afford any slip-ups in Bolton. The 22-year-old takes on Alistair Warren for the Central Area super-middleweight title at the Reebok, and knows his Huddersfield opponent will be determined to scalp him and add win number nine to his own 14-fight ledger.
“He’s got good feet, can dig a bit and comes forward a lot,” assessed 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.”
“Luke is a throwback and has never ducked anybody,” said promoter Steve Wood. “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.”
VIP Promotions present a quality evening of boxing at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on July 20. The show will be headlined by Accrington’s Luke Blackledge vs. Huddersfield’s Alistair Warren for the Central Area super-middleweight title, and Bolton’s Chris Jenkinson vs. Denton’s Lyndon Newman for the British Masters Silver light-middleweight belt.
Also appearing will be Merseyside’s Wayne Adeniyi; Heywood’s Mark Thompson; Colne’s English light-welterweight champ Shayne Singleton; Bolton’s Paul Drago and Danny Watson; Lancaster’s Tomi Tatham; Middleton’s Alex Rutter; Wythenshawe’s Kofi Yates; Liverpool’s Stephen Lewis; and Darwen’s Stevie Taylor. Adam Ismail, Atif Mushtaq, and 2013 ABA winner Jack Massey will all make debuts.
Tickets, priced at £30 (General) and £50 (Ringside), are available from all boxers or at vipbe.co.uk
Keep updated on VIP Promotions’ news by visiting vipboxing.com or follow on Twitter @vipboxing and Facebook. You can also watch this show free and live at VIPBOXING.TV
The public weigh-in for the show will take place on Friday 19th July, 3pm at: Unit 220, Entrance 2, Metroplex Broadway, Salford Quays, M50 2UW. All public are welcome to attend.