Blackledge back out on April card

Billy Joe Saunders and John Ryder in action during the BBBofC British Middleweight Title and Commonwealth Middleweight Title bout at the Copper Box Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 21, 2013. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire
Billy Joe Saunders and John Ryder in action during the BBBofC British Middleweight Title and Commonwealth Middleweight Title bout at the Copper Box Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 21, 2013. Photo credit should read: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Luke Blackledge isn’t privy to the finer details of his 28th professional fight just yet, but there is every possibility that the former Commonwealth champion could feature on the first event to be shown on both BT Sport and BoxNation.

The launch of the ground-breaking deal takes place on April 8th, when a blockbuster card, headlined by Terry Flanagan’s WBO World Lightweight Championship defence against Russia’s Petr Petrov, takes over the Manchester Arena.

Frank Warren signed a multi-year partnership with the company in November that will see the Hall of Fame promoter create 20 premium live boxing events each year to be simulcast on both channels.

And with Blackledge told that he’ll be in action again in a couple of months time, there is the potential for the 26-year-old to return to the scene of his British title challenge against Callum Smith.

“I’m waiting to hear the details for my next fight,” he said. “I’ve not heard anything about when I’m fighting, who I’m fighting or where I’m fighting. All I know is that I’ve got to be ready for April. I’m just hoping it’s going to be a title fight.

“I can’t wait to get back out. It’s time to get back to business. Once you suffer a defeat you just want to get back to winning ways.

“I want another British title shot eventually. I want to win it and these next couple of fights will be the stepping stones towards getting that chance again. It will happen this year without a doubt.”

The Elite Boxing figurehead is flying out to Thailand today and will train out of Bangkok for the next few days. He’s then hoping to take part in an exhibition fight in Hua Hin to keep him ticking over.

“I’m going to be using it as a training camp so I’ll be doing about five hours a day,” he said. “We’re travelling all over, starting in Bangkok, and then I’m hoping to have an exhibition bout in Hua Hin.

“It’s just a step up from sparring and any chance I get to jump in to the ring always helps because I need to be ready for the April show live on BoxNation.”

Speculation on social media has paired Blackledge with John Ryder, who took a unanimous decision victory over Adam Etches at Olympia in Kensington for the vacant IBF International super middleweight title.

And it’s a fight that makes sense to the 168lb Ribble Valley pugilist. “I’ve seen him; I’ve just watched a bit of footage of him,” he said. “He’s come up from middleweight and he’s a southpaw.

“I would be happy to fight him. He’s a nice, sharp boxer. I don’t know too much about him yet but I know what he’s about and I know his style.

“I’ve fought a few southpaws in the past. The biggest fight was probably in Denmark. It doesn’t really make a big difference to me.

“You’ve got to be prepared in every fight no matter who you are facing. We will work on a gameplan to address a southpaw and go from there.

“He will be awkward and he’s an experienced fighter. His record his similar to mine and I think it would be a decent match up if it happens. I would be confident though.”