Clitheroe’s Luke claims Central Area belt

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A DEVASTATINGLY dominant display saw Clitheroe boxer Luke Blackledge crowned Central Area super-middleweight champion at the weekend.

The current British Masters light-heavyweight champion lost just one round as he defeated the more experienced Nathan King on points at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium.

Luke only found out he was fighting King two weeks before the fight after his original opponent, Wayne Reed, pulled out. Not even a last minute change of opponent could prevent the prolific puncher from landing his 11th win in 12 fights though.

“I fought a lot better than I did in my last fight which was a draw but there were still a lot of mistakes and I want to get back to the gym and work on these. He was very experienced and really tough as well. He was strong as well, in fact I underestimated how strong he would be.

“I felt like I was always winning the fight but he was stopping me getting off my usual punches and combinations because of his experience. It was a good fight though.”

Luke now has English champion Rocky Fielding firmly in his sights and is looking ahead to what promises to be a huge 2013.

“I improve off every fight and I’ll improve because of this one. It’s put me in a good position. I have two titles and I want the English champion, Rocky Fielding, next. Before the fight that I drew I was messing about with my diet and I was missing some training sessions so I know it was my own fault. I’m a lot more focused now and I’m looking forward to next year because there’s going to be some big fights. I want Rocky’s title and then the year after I want to fight for the British belt. I also might be fighting in Denmark next year as well. I’ll have a few days off from training now but then I’ll be back in the gym and preparing for those fights.”

His coach Kevin Maree said it was more mature Luke who had trained for this fight and all his hard work and graft had paid off with what he felt was an impressive victory.

“It was a really good fight. It was another step up for Luke, against a really experienced fighter who’s been in the ring with the likes of James Degale, Kenny Anderson and Tony Quiggly. He won nine of the 10 rounds and to be honest I’d be struggling to tell you which round he lost. It was a really mature performance. The difference with Luke this time around compared to when he drew his last fight is that he listened. Before that he had won his first 10 fights and I think he was starting to believe his own hype. The draw grounded him and it was a completely different Luke I saw in training.”

Although Rocky Fielding is very much on the Blackledge camp’s radar, Kevin is looking more at honing his fighter’s ring skills first.

“Obviously we would love Rocky Fielding but I don’t think they would be interested just yet. I still would like to put him up against a few different fighters with different styles.

“He’s only 22 and still a baby in terms of boxing. He’s a work in progress but he’s coming along very well.

“Support in the area is really starting to build for him now and we’d love to sort out a fight closer to home, maybe Colne again or even King George’s Hall.

“We’re looking at February time for the next fight.”