EAST Lancashire fighter Luke Blackledge’s biggest win came in Scandinavia – but he is relishing the opportunity to box in Blackburn on November 22.
Blackledge secured a stunning knockout victory over the respected Mads Larsen in Denmark in 2012 to make his name on the European scene.
But the 24-year-old will be happy to have the home support on his side when he defends the WBC international silver super middleweight title at King George’s Hall in a fortnight’s time.
He won the title at the same venue in September when he defeated Ghanaian Philip Kotey – a former opponent of Kell Brook.
It was the first time in decade that “That was brilliant, unbelievable, fighting for the WBC silver belt in my home town,” he said.
“They changed my opponents twice or three times and I ended up fighting an African who was very dangerous and had 22 knockouts on his record.
“My gameplan was just to box him and not get into a war with him. The gameplan paid off and we got the win, we won every round. “ My style is a forward pressure fighter but with him I had to listen to my coach every time I went back to my corner and I just stuck to my gameplan and I got the win.
“It was brilliant for boxing to be back in Blackburn. I can get all my support, all my family and all my friends, to come down and watch me.
“In the past my fights have been in Denmark, abroad, London, I’ve boxed all over, so to be fighting in Blackburn is amazing, great, unbelievable.
“I’ve been at the game now for seven years, I’ve only been pro for four, but because I’ve done so well in the game I’ve seen a lot of other lads come through and make a go of it.
“On the last show in Blackburn I think there were a couple of debuts fighters and they got the win.
“I think there’s about 15 pro boxers in the local area and that is amazing.”
Blackledge’s opponent on November 22 is yet to be confirmed, but his preparations have gone well regardless.
“The training has been unbelievable and the sparring has been really tough,” he said.
“I’ve been doing 8 to 10 sparring rounds with up to three different sparring partners at once.
“It’s been really good and the only thing that’s been a bit of a nightmare is the opponent.
“But my manager is still working on getting me someone and I’ll be defending my WBC title so I’ve just got to keep focused and keep doing what I am doing in the gym and hopefully I’ll have a good performance on November 22.
“It’s happened to me once before. I was supposed to be boxing Paul Smith for the British and two days before he pulled out and they put another opponent in, Rocky Fielding, and he was totally different.
“I was supposed to be boxing Paul Smith who was a lot shorter. So I won’t be making that mistake again, I’ve got a good team around me now, and in my last three fights everything has gone to plan.
“Hopefully the fight in Blackburn in a couple of weeks will go like the last one.”
Luke Blackledge as a brand new website for fans to keep up-to-date with the fast-rising super-middleweight star www.lukeblackledge.co.uk
Isaac Chamberlain shares Deontay Wilder sparring stories: "He hit me that hard I thought I was back in London!"
Golden Contract semi-finals weights and running order
Undefeated prospects Sam Cox and Dana Zaxo added to Avanesyan vs Kelly card