Top ten ranked super-middleweights Luke 18(6)-2-2 and Liam Cameron 18(6)-3-0 will fight for the vacant Commonwealth title on April 4th at King George’s Hall in Blackburn.
Blackledge posted the following message on social media sites on the announcement of the news, “Just to let everyone know I am boxing for the Commonwealth title against Liam Cameron in Blackburn 4th of April need everyone's support contact me for tickets thanks.”
On paper, the pair could hardly be more evenly matched. Both fighters are ranked in the top ten in their division, they share the same age at 24-years-old, and the same number of wins and knockouts on their respectable records. The rivals have also shared the same opponents each defeating Ghanian Philip Kotey one week apart in September last year.
Blackledge shared the ring with the southpaw first, winning widely on points and collecting the WBC International Silver super-middleweight strap in the process. A week later in Sheffield, the travelling fighter known as Sweet Pea retired in the fourth round at the hands of Cameron.
WBC International Silver champion Luke Blackledge from Blackburn has the home advantage over the Yorkshireman Liam Cameron although he claims to be the underdog, saying, “On paper we’re 50-50 but he was an ABA champion and he’s just beat Tobias Webb in the British title eliminator so he’s probably just ahead of me to be honest, but he’s coming to my town with my support and I won’t be letting my fans down.”
Former Commonwealth title challenger Blackledge has been publicly stating all year that he was after a big fight next after the disappointment of his previous opponent being a last minute stand-in foreign import that proved to be an easy night’s work for the home fighter back in November last year.
With things now looking up, he excitedly explained, “I’m over the moon, I’ve been waiting since my last fight and I’ve been saying that I wanted a big fight but definitely got a big test ahead of me. He’s awkward and he’s a very good fighter. Yeah obviously we’re both well matched, this is like a world title fight for us so I’m gonna grab it with both hands.”
The Commonwealth title was held by Nigerian Isaac Ekpo but the super-middleweight known as the ‘Grenade’ vacated the belt to allow the English pair to challenge for the honours.
Blackledge has already begun preparations for the fight in anticipation of the news, “Been working on a few things in the gym, been looking at it for a while now, obviously I won’t be saying too much got a very good game plan and if the first one doesn’t work then we’ve got the second game plan as a back-up to use.”
The Clitheroe fighter does have one advantage in that he has been in this position once before, “Obviously, I fought Rocky [Fielding] the first time and got beat so really happy to have another shot at it, got a different team around me now and hopefully all of that will pay off and I’ll get the win.”
Blackledge entered the ring with the unbeaten Liverpool favourite Rocky Fielding with just three days notice in November 2013 and was counted out by referee Victor Loughlin after just two minutes and 32 seconds of the opening round. Fans replied in their droves at the excitement of the declaration, one boxing enthusiast stated, “I'll defo be going along. Personally hope Blackledge takes it - he's a good kid whose come on leaps & bounds under Matvienko, shame a lot only remember him for his loss against Fielding - for the same belt.”
Luke concluded with praise for his backing, “I couldn’t have reached this point without the help of all my supporters and all of my sponsors – AJ Wood Ltd, SAGraphics, Natural Sports Food, New Age Hydrophonics, Home Run Chicken & Pizza and Brawl Sportswear.”
The fight is part of a VIP Promotions show that also features another title fight on the same night as unbeaten 21-year-old Isaac Lowe 9(3)-0-0 from Morecombe looks to overcome The Tipton Slasher Lee Glover 9(3)-2(1)-0 in a bid for the vacant English featherweight strap.
Unbeaten prospects AJ Faizy 4(4)-0-1, Morgan Jackson 1-0-0 and Qasim Niaz 7-0-0 all take to the stage on the night looking to continue their unbeaten runs.
Accrington’s Artif Ali 6-1-0 will be looking to bounce back from his first loss at the hands of Bobby Jenkinson in December last year.
The 26-year-old featherweight tasted his first defeat in the pro ranks with a wide points score going against him at a sports centre in Oldham.
Heavyweight Adam Machaj 4(3)-1-0 also comes into the show off the back of a first defeat losing out on a narrow points decision to debutant Kamil Sokolowski in September last year at the same venue in King George’s Hall, Blackburn.
To follow Luke Blackledge on Twitter click here @LukeBlackledge Luke Blackledge v Philip Kotey