By Andrew Wake:
Accrington super-middleweight Luke Blackledge admits he’s still a work in progress but that isn’t preventing him from dreaming of world titles.
The Lancastrian prospect, 20, earned his fighting stripes in kickboxing and, despite never having boxed as an amateur, he is heading the right direction as a young professional.
Indeed, Blackledge has already had to perform at a high level. The trial bout he had to partake in to acquire his BBBofC licence saw him sharing the ring with reigning English light-middleweight champion Brian Rose.
“It was weird and I felt under pressure,” Blackledge recalled. “I went to Steve Wood’s gym and did four or five rounds with Brian but with everyone watching it was nerve wracking.
“Brian’s a really good skilled fighter so it was tough but it was a good spar to be honest. I enjoyed it.
“I always wanted to give boxing a go. When I was kickboxing a lot of my stoppages came from boxing and most of the sparring was around punching so I mostly sparred with boxers.
Blackledge, whose real name is Robinson, made his pro boxing berth at Wigan’s Robin Park Centre in October last year and secured victory in emphatic style.
“It was a really good fight. I put him down in the first and then twice in the fifth before I got the stoppage. I fought really well,” he said.
“My second one I fought James Tucker and he weighed in 12st 10lbs and I was 12st 4lbs and I had shingles two weeks before the fight so I felt drained but I still got at him and won clearly.”
It’s still early for the young puncher but like all fighters he has hopes of winning titles and in manager Steve Wood, he believes he has the right man on his side to take him to the top.
“He’s one of the best managers around so I think he’s the one to take me forward,” Blackledge stated. “He’s had some good fighters like Jamie Moore and he’s still got good one’s coming through.
“I’d love to be a world champion one day. It’s early doors and I’m just starting out as a pro, but one day I hope to get there.
“I train really hard. I’m always running and I’m in the gym twice a day, six days a week so if I can carry on putting the hard work in I can’t see no reason why I can’t get up there.”