Clitheroe boxer Blackledge set to power through the pain barrier

POWER: Luke Blackledge throws a right.
POWER: Luke Blackledge throws a right.

NOT even the inconvenience of injury can deter Clitheroe fighter Luke Blackledge from extending his winning streak.

The 21-year-old light heavyweight boxer sustained a cracked rib when sparring with Kenny Anderson but refuses to surrender to the affliction.

“I’ve cracked a rib,” he said. “I was sparring with Kenny Anderson and he caught me in the body in the first round. I damaged it a few years ago as an amateur and unfortunately it cracked again. It feels okay at the moment though. I don’t think I’ll pull out of the fight. I hate having to pull out of fights.”

Blackledge recorded his sixth professional triumph against light middleweight prospect Phill Fury, the cousin of British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Tyson Fury who took both titles after beating Dereck Chisora in July. The convincing points victory, scored at 60-56 by the ringside judges at Trafford Park’s Event City, saw Blackledge climb to 25th in the British rankings for his weight division.

“It was a really good fight,” declared Blackledge. “It was my first 6x3 and I came through it fine. He was really sharp so I had to work on him. He’d had double the amount of fights I’d had as well so he had experience in his favour.

“He was a fit lad as well but I’d expected that anyway because one of his previous contests was an 8x3. He was a decent boxer so I just had to stay on him, pressure him, and grind him down. It was a great win for me.”

Next up for the burgeoning talent is Sheffield’s Dean Walker who has 50 fights under his belt, winning 12. The 32-year-old has fought for the BBBofC Central Area super middleweight and middleweight titles as well as the IBF International middleweight title.

“He’s a bit of a journeyman but he’s fought for quite a few titles so he should be half decent,” said Blackledge. “It should be a good fight for me and I’m looking forward to it. Journeymen tend to be more defensive, that’s what they rely on.”

But even if he does record a seventh success at Colne Muni tomorrow any talk of a title shot will remain muted for the time being.

“I’ll get this fight out of the way then I’ll have a rest until the New Year,” he said. “This will be my seventh professional bout in just over a year now so I’ve done well to get them all in. But I won’t be rushing in to anything. I’ve got to take the fights at the right time. There’s no point in rushing in to a title shot because if you lose you have to start building again.”

He added: “I’m not really surprised by my progress. I want to be challenging myself and fighting decent lads. I don’t really want to fight journeymen because they turn up for the money and to try and survive. They have the knack of making good boxers look bad.

“I want to fight people who want to win in a 50/50 contest. I want to please the crowd and stick to my boxing. But I just get on with it; I’ll box whoever gets put in front of me.”