Luke dropping to middleweight as he sets sights on another title

Clitheroe's Luke Blackledge has set the target of becoming a champion of three separate weights having made the decision to drop down to 160lbs.

Friday, 23rd March 2018, 8:00 am
Luke Blackledge v Ishmael Tetteh, Commonwealth (British Empire) super middleweight title, Macron Stadium, Bolton, 13th May 2016

The 27-year-old won the British Masters belt at light-heavyweight, secured the WBC International Silver and Commonwealth titles at super-middleweight and now he has his eyes on the prize at middleweight.

Blackledge has been stepping up his comeback in Germany, working alongside WBA World champion at 168lbs Tyron Zeuge while coach Jurgen Brahmer, who had been scheduled to face Callum Smith in the World Boxing Super Series prior to illness, has been putting the pair through their paces.

Zeuge bids to protect his reign against Isaac Ekpo at Inselparkhalle, Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg on Saturday on a card which also features Olympian Araik Marutjan, who has also been sharing a ring with Blackledge during the training camp at the Kienbaum Olympic Centre in Berlin.

He said: “It was really tough over in Germany; I did 34 rounds with a world champion. He dropped his other sparring partner twice so I ended up having to step in and do the rest of it. It was good and I enjoyed it but it feels like I’ve been run over.

“Tyron (Zeuge) has improved a lot. He’s class. He’s fighting this weekend.

“It’s made me feel better about myself. I needed to get back in to the routine so it’s helped me.

“I needed to get back to living like a fighter. I’m back now and I’m feeling razor sharp. I need to get a couple of wins and then hopefully I’ll get a title fight in the summer.”

Blackledge hasn’t specified a particular title that he’d like to go for just yet, the Elite Boxing professional is happy to keep his options open, but he’s eager to build his resume back up first.

Having suffered three defeats in his last four outings, six months of inactivity, and two cancelled shows, Blackledge is heading out to Thailand in his bid to get rid of the ring rust.

“I’ve had two fights cancelled now,” he said. “I’m ready to fight but I just need to find a show. I’m going out to fight in Thailand now, I’ve signed a contract and I’m flying out this weekend. I’m doing an eight-rounder so I’ll be looking to get a good win under my belt.

“There’s a show on in Blackburn next month and I’m hoping to fight on that. I’ve just got to avoid sustaining any injuries in my next fight.

“I’ll be out there doing a bit of training as well. I’m feeling really good, I’m sharp and everything is coming back to me. When I drop weight I always perform better.”

Blackledge added: “The middleweight category is wide open. I’d fight for an Intercontinental belt, an English title, I’d take the Tommy Langford fight for the British.

“I would beat him. I watched his defence against Jack Arnfield, who I thought under-performed. I thought Jack should’ve beat him but I know that I’d beat him.

“It doesn’t matter which title I go for. I would like to fight Liam Cameron again as well because he’s got my Commonwealth. I want to build my record back up first.

“I’ve set my goals. I want to be a champion at middleweight, the plan is to become a champion at three different weights. I will do it.”