A CENTRAL area title contest with last term’s Prizefighter winner Rocky Fielding may be off the cards but it won’t be long before formidable fighter Luke Blackledge gets his shot.
The Clitheroe boxer maintained his 100% record with victory over Robert Studzinski at Oldham Sports Centre on Saturday - his eighth professional bout. Blackledge’s representatives had actively put his name forward for the challenge though Frank Warren’s unbeaten supper-middleweight protégé has reportedly withdrawn after declining the purse.
“It’s not going to come off,” said Blackledge’s trainer Jason Curtis. “I spoke to his manager and apparently Rocky wanted more money than the promoters were prepared to pay.
“It wasn’t something that had been confirmed anyway; it was just a case of us putting Luke’s name forward. They’ve pulled the show off now but it may be something that happens in the near future.”
Blackledge packed too much power and agility for his Polish foe at the weekend, eventually forcing a stoppage early in the third round with a devastating combination which he executed twice.
“He performed brilliantly,” Curtis said. “His opponent was known to be a durable fighter but Luke overpowered him and stopped him within 30 seconds of the third round.
“Luke’s fitness prevailed and he picked up the pace in the second and at that point we were confident of stopping him. Luke caught him with the same combination twice - right uppercut, left hook and right cross - so at that point he’d taken too much punishment and the referee had to stop it. Robert wasn’t much of a mover so he really took the brunt of it.”
Curtis had backed his highly-regarded Kokoro Pro-Boxing fighter to launch a serious assault on the British pyramid and this latest triumph is expected to lift Blackledge in to the top 20 light heavyweight contenders. And there’s certainly more to follow.
“It’s great for him to get another stoppage,” beamed Curtis. “Hopefully he can move on to bigger and better things now. We’ll wait for the manager, Steve Wood, to ring and let me know what’s on. He’s already told us to be ready to fight anytime but there’s nothing set up at the moment.
“If Luke keeps his mind and body on the job he could go as far as he likes. He’s ready for a title shot now. Title fights are 10 rounds so he’ll have to be fit and ready for it, which he is. We’re already training at that kind of pace. He has no ring rustle what-so-ever so we will just keep him busy.”