Blackledge bidding to become the best of British by beating champion Smith

British title challenger Luke Blackledge believes that he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain when he faces super-middleweight champion Callum Smith at the Manchester Arena.

There’s no doubt that the 26-year-old Clitheroe fighter, who was recently usurped as Commonwealth champion at 168lbs by Zac Dunn having relinquished his title, is the massive underdog.

Luke Blackledge in action against Ishmael Tetteh. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Luke Blackledge in action against Ishmael Tetteh. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

While a selection of bookmakers have priced the holder as the 1/100 favourite, others have pinned the contender as the 22/1 outsider.

“It is without a doubt the biggest fight of my career,” he said. “Callum Smith is on top of his game. It’s a massive opportunity that I’ve been given.

“I’m fighting one of the best in the world. He’s on fire at the moment, he’s 21 fights unbeaten, he’s a big unit and he carries a lot of power.

“He’s a dangerous fighter, he’s big and explosive but we’re confident that we’re going to do the business on the night.”

Luke Blackledge has his eyes on the prize. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Luke Blackledge has his eyes on the prize. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Blackledge, who is looking to cause an upset on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s IBF World heavyweight title fight with Eric Molina on Saturday, added: “I’m confident or else I wouldn’t be taking the fight.

“It’s a massive show, a home show in Manchester, and it’s going to be a sell out. I’m buzzing for it and I can’t wait.

“I’m not looking past Callum; I’d be stupid if I did that. He’s number four in the world, number one by the WBC but I would fight whoever for that title.

“I’m the massive underdog so I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. The British belt - that would be unbelievable if I pull it off.”

The Matchroom card also features Scott Quigg against Jose Cayetano, Luis Concepcion versus Khalid Yafai, Dillian Whyte and Dereck Chisora, Hosea Burton against Frank Buglioni, Luis Ortiz and David Allen, Conor Benn versus Josh Thorne and Katie Taylor against Viviane Obenauf.