Luke matched with Markham

Blackledge's next opponent Lee Markham
Blackledge's next opponent Lee Markham
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Luke Blackledge has vowed to do everything in his power to retain his status as Commonwealth champion.

The 25-year-old super-middleweight will defend his belt against Lee Markham at the Manchester Arena on October 10th live on BoxNation.

The fight will feature on the undercard of Andy Lee’s WBO World middleweight title defence against Billy Joe Saunders while Terry Flanagan defends his lightweight strap against American Diego Magdaleno.

“He’s a good fighter,” said Blackledge, who watched Markham’s split decision draw with Frank Buglioni for WBO European honours at Wembley Arena in May. “It should be an interesting fight. I thought he beat Buglioni.

“Every fight is going to be tough now because all my opponents will be at a similar level. I’m going to treat this like a world title fight because I’m defending my belt. He’s not taking my title off me. I’ll be at 110 per cent for this one.

“He’s a forward fighter and he’s aggressive. He’s a bit like me really. My team has devised a really good game plan for this fight and we won’t be showing Markham the respect that Buglioni did.

“I’m the champion and we’ll fight my fight, not his. He proved how good he is in his last fight so if I beat him doors will open. I’ll be switched on and if I win then maybe a European shot will be just around the corner for me.”

Blackledge, who will be under the scrutiny of promoter Frank Warren, added: “I’m defending my Commonwealth belt on the undercard of a couple of world title fights. It’s great to be involved in something like that. I need another good performance but I’m confident - otherwise I wouldn’t put my title on the line.”