Rovers midfielder David Dunn was ringside as Clitheroe boxer Luke Blackledge retained his fringe WBC strap.
The World Boxing Council’s number 39 super-middleweight saw off the challenge of Bulgarian Konstantin Alexandrov with ease as he was awarded all eight rounds by the ringside judges at King George’s Hall.
It was a comfortable nights work for the International Silver supremo, who was probably given a bigger test when working the pads with Gary Bowyer’s squad at Brockhall a few weeks ago.
The 24-year-old, featuring in his sixth title bout after just 22 professional contests, was largely unexposed against a late stand-in who appeared remarkable unambitious.
Alexandrov refused to open up, remaining completely inhibited in his display, leaving Blackledge to put in to practice the teachings of his training camp with Alex Matvienko.
“I enjoyed the fight and practised some of the techniques I’d been working on in the gym - stepping to the side and working his body,” said Blackledge. “I didn’t get caught with much either. I think he landed one good shot.
“It’s hard to look good against fighters like that. He never really came out to fight and just stayed in his shell. It’s another win though and another eight rounds in the bag. I worked hard but I just couldn’t hit him with anything clean because his defence was really tight.”
He added: “He had a similar kind of defence to Arthur Abraham. It’s a European thing I think; really tight with elbows tucked in and hands held high. It doesn’t give you much to aim at.
“It was a good win but my hands were bruised after the fight. His head was solid so my knuckles and fingers were sore because I’d hit him there so many times.”
That was victory number 18 for the one-time unlicensed fighter, who is now targeting a big title fight in 2015. Blackledge has declared that he’ll train throughout the festive period in anticipation of a lucrative late Christmas present.
“Hopefully that should open doors for next year now. I’ve had 22 professional fights so in 2015 I want a shot at the Commonwealth or British title,” he said.
“I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be offered a big fight at the last minute so I’ll be straight back in the gym. I want to be ready to jump in for it if anything comes up. That belt is mine to keep now so I’m moving on to bigger titles.”