Commonwealth super-middleweight champion Luke Blackledge (19-2-2) gets a tough test in the first defense of his title against Lee Markham (14-2-1) in Manchester Arena on October 10th live on BoxNation.
The 25-year-old will defend his belt on the bumper World War III show promoted by Frank Warren in association with Adam Booth and Top Rank, featuring three World Title fights in one unforgettable night with the history-making contest between the two travellers, WBO World middleweight champion Andy Lee (34-2-1) and challenger Billy Joe Saunders (22-0) as the highly-anticipated main event.
“He’s a good fighter,” said Blackledge, who watched Markham’s split decision draw with Frank Buglioni for WBO European honours at Wembley Arena in May. “It should be an interesting fight. I thought that he beat Buglioni, to be honest.
“Every fight is going to be tough now because all my opponents will be at a similar level. I’m going to treat this like a world title fight because I’m defending my belt. He’s not taking my title off me. I’ll be at 110 per cent for this one.
“He’s a come-forward fighter and very aggressive, a bit like me really. My team has devised a really good game plan for this fight and we won’t be showing Markham the respect that Buglioni did.
“I’m the champion and we’ll fight my fight, not his. He proved how good he is in his last fight so if I beat him then doors will open. I’ll be switched on and if I win then maybe a European shot will be just around the corner for me.”
The 168-pounder ranked at number six in the British super-middleweight division attained his Commonwealth title with a career-best performance against the highly-rated Liam Cameron on April 4th in Blackburn.
Blackledge, who will be under the examination of promoter Frank Warren on the night, added, “I’m defending my Commonwealth belt on the undercard of a couple of world title fights. It’s great to be involved in something like that. I need another good performance but I’m confident – otherwise I wouldn’t put my title on the line.”
Known as ‘Robbo’ due to his birth name of Robinson, Blackledge has won his last five fights picking up two vacant titles in the Commonwealth strap and the WBC International Silver belt, too.
The Essex challenger branded as ‘Banjo’ has only enjoyed three victories from his last four endeavours losing out Jahmaine Smyle (11-4-2) in March this year with the vacant English super-middleweight Championship on the line, followed by his stalemate with bitter rival Frank Buglioni (17-1-1) two months later for the WBO European super-middleweight strap.
The match-up will likely be a tasty affair between two aggressive and game, top ten ranked contenders and the victor will possibly get a shot at the hard-hitting Londoner ‘The Wiseguy’ Frank Buglioni following his WBA World super-middleweight challenge against champion Fedor Chudinov (13-0) on September 26th in Wembley Arena.
Topping the bill at Manchester Arena on Saturday 10th October is WBO Middleweight Champion ‘Irish’ Andy Lee as he looks to make the first defence of his title against undefeated challenger Billy Joe Saunders.
The World title action doesn’t stop there as Manchester’s own Terry ‘Turbo’ Flanagan (28-0) also makes the first defence of the WBO Lightweight Championship in front of his home crowd against the dangerous American southpaw Diego Magdaleno (28-1).
The hugely talented Liam Smith (20-0-1) will take on tough challenger John Thompson (17-1) for the vacant WBO World light-middleweight Championship.
Liam Walsh (19-0) takes on worthy contender Troy James (17-1) in a defense of his British and Commonwealth super-featherweight straps.
MGM protégé Thomas Stalker (10-1-1) gets Welshman Craig Evans (14-1) in what should be a very evenly-matched light-welterweight contest.
Mancunian Adrian Gonzales (11-1), who once made his debut at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas in 2008, and former English champion Jon Kays (21-4-1) both contest for the vacant WBO European super-featherweight title over 10 rounds.
Highly-ranked southpaw Jack Catterall (12-0) from Chorley defends his WBO Inter-Continental light-welterweight title over 10 rounds.
Local lad ‘Jimmy’ Kilrain Kelly (15-0) looks to continue his unbeaten run and meteoric rise through the light-middleweight ranks having recently broken into the top ten at just 22-years-old.
Sheffield heavyweight ‘The Inferno’ Richard Towers (15-1) makes an appearance against an opponent yet to be announced.
Bolton’s middleweight debutant Jack Flattley gets a dream start on arguably the biggest boxing show of 2015.
Tickets are priced at £30, £40, £80, £135, £210 and £500 available to buy from https://www.frankwarren.com/buy-boxing-tickets/ and will be shown live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 525).