Champ Blackledge has plenty of options

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

Luke Blackledge confirmed that he’s being inundated with fight offers after defending his Commonwealth crown for a second time against Ishmael Tetteh.

The 25-year-old dropped the Ghanaian in the fifth round of their contest at Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium live on BoxNation.

Blackledge, who initially beat Liam Cameron to the belt before seeing off Lee Markham, had seemingly taken the wind out of the WBO Africa title challenger with a number of crippling body shots as he failed to survive referee Terry O’Connor’s count.

Now the British number eight, who fights out of Elite Boxing in Bolton under the watchful eye of former professional Alex Matvienko, is being mentioned in the same sentence as powerful Australian Zac Dunn, unbeaten Vijender Singh and American Andre Dirrell.

Dunn and Singh are both scheduled to fight in July, with opponents yet to be confirmed for the pair, and Blackledge revealed that offers have been put on the table to fly out to Victoria or Delhi to fill the void.

“I’ve defended my title again and now I want a big fight,” he said, after winning his seventh contest in succession. “Owning this belt means everything to me. That belt has got me where I am now.

“It’s got me a contract with BoxNation and fights on TV. It’s not just come over night. I’ve grafted for five or six years.

“It’s definitely good exposure. I’m getting good coverage on TV and a lot more people are noticing my face and knowing who I am.

“I’m still climbing the rankings. I lost a lot of points because I haven’t been active. I’m active again now though and I’m going to try and get back out soon.”

Blackledge, who also claimed the WBC International Silver super-middleweight prize in 2014, added: “A lot of people have been calling me out. They mentioned VJ Singh on BoxNation. I’ll beat him if he wants it.

“They’ve been talking about me going over to Delhi. I’d rather have the fight in the UK though. If they want me to go over there they’ll have to pay me a lot of money.

“I’ll fight anyone. It’s up to my team. I’ve been offered Zac Dunn as well. I’ve been offered loads of fights. I was offered a fight in America as well against Dirrell.

“I’m being offered fights left, right and centre. I’m still a work in progress so I’ve got to take the right fights.

“There are levels in boxing so you’ve got to do the right things at the right time. You’ve got to work through the levels.

“I’ll sit down with my team and management and take things from there. I want another big TV fight.

“I’m definitely pushing towards European level. I’m in the top 15 in the European rankings now.”