Luke Blackledge feels he’s significantly better equipped to land the Commonwealth title ahead of his second shot at the strap.
The 24-year-old conceded that he wasn’t ready 16 months ago when stepping up to take on Rocky Fielding on the undercard of Froch versus Groves I at Manchester’s Phones 4u Arena.
In a turbulent 2013, where he lost twice and drew once in five outings,
Blackledge naively sprung towards the champion with a wayward swinging right hand, only to be floored by a crushing left hook with 30 seconds of the opening round remaining.
Ahead of his contest with British number 10 super-middleweight Liam Cameron at Blackburn King George’s Hall on April 4th, he said: “I’m not underestimating Liam like I did with Rocky. I’m really up for this fight, I’ve trained hard for it, but I’ve got to stick to the game plan. I didn’t have one when I fought Rocky.
“I’d been training to fight Paul Smith, that’s why my hands were low when fighting Rocky. I’d been preparing to protect myself from the body shots against Paul. But Rocky is much taller.
I’m not underestimating Liam like I did with Rocky. I’m really up for this fight,Luke Blackledge
“I fought Rocky on the back of a tough week of sparring with Froch and Ronnie Heffron. I took the fight two days before. That was my downfall. I underestimated Rocky and I switched off.”
Blackledge has built himself back up since that defeat, triumphing over Jody Meikle, Darren McKenna, Philip Kotey and Konstantin Alexandrov since switching to Alex Matvienko’s Elite Boxing hub in Bolton.
And the WBC International Silver supremo has studied hard in his bid to land the fourth strap of his professional tenure. “It’s a big fight and one that I need to win.
“If I lose then I’m buggered. I don’t want to have to build myself up again because it’s been hard work. There’s no way I’m going to let that happen. I’m confident I’ll do the business this time.
“It’s the biggest fight of my career. I will get that belt. I think this is my time now. I’ve taken my time and not rushed in to anything.
“I didn’t go to America to fight Andre Dirrell or go to Africa. I’ve been patient and waited and now I’ve got another shot at the Commonwealth.”
Anybody wanting to purchase tickets for the show can contact Luke on 07731 542103.