Clitheroe’s super-middleweight fighter Luke Blackledge isn’t ruling out the possibility of dropping down a division in a bid to get his hands on the British title.
The 26-year-old is keeping his options open in his quest for the Lonsdale Belt after suffering a 10th round knockout against 168lb champion Callum Smith in December.
There are a number of avenues available for the one-time Commonwealth king with question marks over whether “Mundo” will relinquish his reign in search of more lucrative titles while a contest with Frank Buglioni has potential at light-heavyweight.
However, Blackledge has identified the middleweight route as perhaps the more viable where he could take on the victor of holder Tommy Langford and challenger Craig Cunningham.
“I’m waiting for my manager to get back to me but I want another shot at the British title so that’s what we’re waiting to hear about, whether it be at middleweight, super-middleweight or light heavyweight,” he said.
“Middleweight is definitely an option. I’d just have to be very strict with my diet and nutrition and disciplined with my schedule. I’ve fought at light heavyweight before so that wouldn’t be an issue but making middleweight would be a much more difficult challenge.
“I’m just keeping my options open. I would take the Frank Buglioni fight and it would be the same if Callum Smith vacates his title. If not I’ll take on Tommy Langford at middleweight. I need to win that British title no matter what.”
The Elite Boxing supremo believes that competition in the 160lb category is dwarfed in comparison to that at super-middleweight.
And he feels that he can make a big impact in the class below. “I would shred the weight and then have 30 hours to get it all back in after the weigh-in,” he said.
“I would be big and strong at middleweight and I would beat any of the top 10. I couldn’t see anybody beating me who is up there at the moment.
“Tommy Langford is the current champion and I would take that fight tomorrow. There are fighters like Jack Arnfield as well. Those are the kind of people that I would be fighting.
“It’s nothing in comparison to the top 10 at super-middleweight where you’ve got George Groves, Martin Murray and Rocky Fielding. There is a big difference and if the option is there to take that route then I will do.”
Blackledge added: “I would be more dangerous without a doubt. I would be an even bigger puncher and I’d be hitting people harder who are half my size. Training and fighting in this division has helped me improve every day.
“I’ve developed with every camp and every time that I’ve gone in to the ring. I’ve generally learned from it all. Fighting at this level and competing in this division has also helped to enhance my reputation as a boxer.
“It always has been a tough division. It would be another big opportunity if Callum Smith vacates. I would go up or down, I’m just waiting. If I was to get plenty of notice then I’ll make middleweight.
“That’s what I measure my career on now - winning that title. Everything is geared towards that. I won the Commonwealth and relinquished it so this is my next goal. I need to win that title.”