Clitheroe’s WBC International Silver super middleweight champion Luke Blackledge believes that patience will be the virtue to help his career flourish.
After securing the third strap of his professional tenure, the 24-year-old looked back on a hectic and relatively turbulent four-year spell that’s already accumulated 21 contests.
In that time Blackledge has scooped the British Masters light-heavyweight title, the International Masters super middleweight belt and the WBC fringe accolade that was reward for overcoming Ghanaian behemoth Philip Kotey.
Blackledge was once renowned for his unrelenting aggression in the ring - a pressure opponents struggled to shrug off. However, defeat to Rocky Fielding when challenging the Liverpudlian’s Commonwealth (British Empire) crown forced a re-think.
Blackledge switched to Bolton where he joined up with former pro Alex Matvienko at Elite Boxing and there’s been a change of discipline as a method has been added to the madness.
After his latest triumph, Blackledge said: “I stuck to the game plan and it worked. He could punch. He wobbled me a bit in the first round and I nearly bit my tongue when he caught me with an uppercut but that switched me on.
“I couldn’t take any risks because he was one of the biggest punchers I’ve ever fought. I just had to keep my defence tight and press him whenever I could. I boxed well by picking my shots when the moment was right.
“He was an awkward opponent because he kept switching styles from southpaw to orthodox. Whenever he switched to southpaw though I caught him with a back hand. I landed some big shots. I was really happy with my performance in the end.”
Blackledge has options on the horizon. Former trainer Kevin Maree has sent the invitation to appear at Stirk House next month and there’s already talk of a defence. For now, though, Blackledge is just glad to get back on course.
“The belt is beautiful, he said. “I’m absolutely over the moon with it. It’s the biggest title I’ve won and I’m buzzing. I’m back on track now. This has helped my confidence because I’m heading back in the right direction.
“The next step now will be to defend it. I’ll be ranked in the WBC now so I want to keep climbing. There’s another show in Blackburn on November 22nd so I’ll be looking to defend my title then. I’ll hopefully appear on Kevin Maree’s show at the Stirk House on October 12th then make the defence.”
Blackledge added: “I’ve learnt that I need to take my career one fight at a time. I’ve rushed my career a bit so I want to do things right now. I’m only 24 and I’ve already had 21 fights. There’s no need to rush because I’ve got time on my side. The defence of this belt will take priority.”