British super middleweight title challenger Luke Blackledge warmed up for December’s eagerly anticipated showdown with victory against Iain Jackson.
The 23-year-old put the defeat to Erik Skoglund and the frustrating technical draw versus Alastair Warren to the back of his mind to ease past his foe over four rounds at Bolton’s De Vere Whites.
“Luke was desperate for the warm up,” said coach Kevin Maree. “He just needed that win. We were fighting a guy with nothing to lose so it was a bit nervy because any injury sustained would have put him out of the title fight with Paul Smith.
“I was petrified watching it because it was a huge risk and it’s not nice being in that situation. It was dangerous but there was great reward.”
Maree also watched from the corner as debutants Haidher Riaz and Qasim Niaz stormed to success.
After the pair took every round of their respective bouts, Maree said: “They didn’t show any signs of nerves. They looked sharp, fit, aggressive and they both looked very professional.”