Stablemate Jack is the lad for Luke

Luke Blackledge (right) with stablemate Jack Flatley
Luke Blackledge (right) with stablemate Jack Flatley
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Luke Blackledge has outlined the immeasurable value of stablemate Jack Flatley ahead of his return to the ring at Bolton Whites Hotel tomorrow.

The pair are tutored by former professional Alex Matvienko at Elite Boxing and will feature on the same card, not for the first time, in the underbelly of the Macron Stadium.

Super-middleweight Blackledge, ranked 10th in the division in Britain, faces much-travelled Latvian foe Olegs Fedotovs who has fought the likes of Andy Lee, Chris Eubank Jr, Rocky Fielding, Frank Buglioni and Callum Smith.

Meanwhile middleweight Flatley, who extended his unblemished record to seven fights in February, takes on Doncaster’s ‘Daddy Cool’ Jason Ball.

British title challenger Blackledge will fight for the first time in five months, after failing to smuggle the Lord Lonsdale strap away from Liverpudlian Smith, but the 168lb pugilist feels that Flatley’s contribution has helped him get back to where he needs to be.

“I can’t wait,” he said. “I’ve just been ticking over and making final preparations for the fight. I’ve just been trying to cut the final few pounds ahead of the weigh-in and then I’m good to go.

“Myself and Jack have been working hard every day, driving each other forward. It’s not just in sparring either, it’s the same in the gym as well.

“We’re working together every day and we’re getting better and better. We’re helping each other out.

“Jack has improved loads. He’s going to be a beast in a few years when he’s fighting for titles. It’s perfect having him there.”

Blackledge added: “We learn a lot from each other and we bring out the best in each other. Sparring with Jack has got me back to where I need to be. I’m feeling sharp again.

“He’s got a high work rate so I’ve been grafting hard in the gym I’m feeling mega fit now and I’m ready.

“We are both improving because we’re pushing each other on. I needed that after fighting the number one super-middleweight in Callum Smith.

“In a few years he’ll be right up there with the big names in the middleweight division. He’s already sparring with fighters like Martin Murray and he’s holding his own. He will definitely become a champion one day.”