Lancashire super-middleweight, Luke Blackledge 17(6)-2(1)-2 is all set to defend his recently attained WBC International Silver super middleweight title in Blackburn on November 22nd against Bulgarian, Konstantin Alexandrov 3-3-0.
The opponent was named just yesterday as the number two ranked middleweight in Bulgaria, Konstantin Alexandrov.
With the same number of wins as losses on his ledger, only six fights and under two years experience as a pro, and travelling to the UK for the first time as an away fighter, the stage is set for an easy night’s work for the WBC International Silver champion.
Blackledge stated, “The opponent is Konstantin Alexandrov. I’ve been told that he’s durable, so I’m all set to go the distance if I have to. He’s got 50-50 record and he’s never been stopped. I think his background is more K1, he’s had a lot of K1 fights. I don’t think he’s ever fought over here before so that will go in my favour.” Blackledge defeated the tough Ghanian southpaw, Philip Koty 29(22)-9(4)-2 to become the first boxer in almost 50 years to wear a professional belt in a Blackburn ring.
Following that record-breaking fight, the Clitheroe 24-year-old was seeking bigger, better fights to push on in his career but frustrations followed with promised fights falling through unexpectedly.
“To be honest the tickets haven’t sold as quickly because of the lack of opponent. We talked about the Commonwealth then the English title and nothing happened. It should still be a sell-out show although there’s been a few fighters drop out – Morgan Jackson, he was in second pro fight but went down with flu, Stevie Taylor, cruiserweight, had a hand injury and Adam Machaj, heavyweight, also got hand injury sparring Derek Chisora,” said Blackledge.
He continued, “The frustrations won’t get to me when I’m in there – you can’t switch off from anyone. The game-plan I’ve been working on the last few days is to work on the basics. He’s more of a rugged fighter, very forward, bit wild and aggressive. So I’ve been working on basic stuff so that the shots are crisp and sharp, if I start having a war with him then I’ll go down to his level and it’ll be a hard night’s work for me. I never switch off but you sometimes when you dragged into a war then you take shots you wouldn’t normally take.”
At 24-years-old, Blackledge has been involved in six title fights in under two years collecting British Masters, International Masters and the latest addition – the WBC International Silver super-middleweight title. Luke commented, “I’m feeling really good, feel fit and strong, just can’t wait to get in there now. Training camp has gone really well, the only thing that’s not gone well for me is not having an opponent and things being up in the air. It’s been really frustrating for me.”
Remaining optimistic throughout, Blackledge aims to get a good win on aturday night and to chase the big fights next year, “There’ll be bigger fights in the pipeline for next year. Basically, for the next year I want to chase after the WBO or Commonwealth because I feel that I’m at that that level now, or the British title. Paul Smith is fighting Arthur Abraham again so why can’t me or Tobias Webb or Callum Smith or Frank Buglioni fight for his title – it’s just sitting there doing nothing.”
Luke concluded, “Thanks for all the support, to my family, hopefully I’ll get a good win on Saturday for you all to enjoy. I’d also like to thank my manager, Steve Woods for everything that he has done for me.” In other action on the night, undefeated light-welterweight inspiration, AJ Faizy 3(3)-0-1 enters into his sixth pro contest against Mark McKray. The 21-year-old is ranked in the top 25 in arguably one of the toughest divisions in boxing.
Another talented super-middleweight with a big future to share the stage on the night same night is Tobias Webb 14(2)-2(2)-1. The Welsh 26-year-old goes up against seasoned veteran Elvis Dube who consistently gives a good account of himself in all competitions. Webb could well be on a collision course with Blackledge in the near future. Unbeaten 25-year-old, Shayne Singleton 19(6)-0-0 from Colne up against 22-year-old Yorkshire light middleweight, Adam Jones 3-5-4 as he closes in on a top ten ranked spot in the welterweight division.
Two other welterweight prospects, Qasim Niaz 6-0-0 and Ali Shah 7(2)-1-0 are in action on the night. Niaz looks to continue his unbeaten run against Matthew Ashmole and southpaw Shah takes on his second unbeaten opponent in Mick Hall 10(1)-0-0. The first unbeaten prospect Shah faced back in 2011 was Prizefighter winner, Glen Foot who beat three unbeaten prospects to win the prestigous tournament and handed the 28-year-old from Blackburn his first and only lost in the pro ranks.
Super featherweight, Isaac Lowe 8(3)-0-0 looks to notch up another win on his respectable record to edge closer to the top ten in the rankings and to inevitable title fights that will surely be just around the corner for the talented young 20-year-old.
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