Clitheroe boxer Luke Blackledge returns to action with six-round showdown in Bolton

Luke Blackledge has his eyes on the prize. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Luke Blackledge has his eyes on the prize. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Luke Blackledge will face journeyman Darryl Sharp in a six-round showdown at the Bolton Whites Hotel on Saturday.

The 28-year-old has won six of his seven professional contests at the venue, with the anomaly in that sequence occurring in 2013 when his contest with Alistair Warren was halted at the end of the second round following a doctor’s inspection.

The former Commonwealth champion at super-middleweight is the heavy favourite to extend that unbeaten run, against an opponent who has lost 37 contests consecutively.

Sharp hasn’t had his arm raised since out-pointing Ben Davies over 10 rounds at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester, one of just five career triumphs.

However, despite losing 51 times since making his debut in 2015, the Mancunian southpaw has only ever been stopped once.

That came against reigning British middleweight champion Liam Williams, who brought an end to their meeting at the Ice Arena in Cardiff in the third round of eight.

Blackledge, who has been sparring with Spaniard Adasat Rodriguez and former WBO World champion Billy Joe Saunders in preparation for this bout, told the Clitheroe Advertiser: “I’m in a good place at the moment.

“I’m feeling sharp and looking to get back down to super-middleweight.

“I’m fighting at the Macron (University of Bolton) Stadium in Bolton on May 11th.

“I’m still going to have a busy year and see what opportunities come my way.

“I’m going to have to be far more disciplined with my training and nutrition.

“I’ve not been dedicated enough recently, I’ve not had that hunger for it.

“I’ve only got myself to blame for that.

“I lost the fire for a while but now I want to get myself back up there.

“I started cutting corners and I stopped doing everything that you need to do to be successful.

“I’m going to see how it goes and see how much I’ve got left in the tank.”