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Full Fight : Degale vs Dirrell video


By @Livefight

James Degale vs Andre Dirrell for the IBF super middleweight title last night in Boston:

Emotional Degale talks following sensational IBF win



New super middleweight IBF champion James Degale reacts to his sensational win over Andre Dirrell last night in Boston, USA :-

David Price talks Liverpool return, potential AJ showdown, weighs up Fury-Klitschko


By Michael J Jones

ON JUNE 26th at Liverpool’s Echo Arena, David Price makes his long-awaited return to home turf against an opponent to be named. The Scouse heavyweight is 4-0 since his heart-breaking losses to American veteran Tony Thompson with three of those victories coming inside schedule.

Now 19-2 (16), the former British and Commonwealth champion has looked solid in all of his comeback bouts. Sporting a new patient style, the former amateur stand-out has benefitted from a spell under esteemed US trainer Tommy Brooks and looks ready for a decent test as he targets a European title tilt this year.

Recently linked with a bout vs German puncher Erkan Teper, the 31 year old “Pricey” spoke this week to Livefight about his Merseyside return and his hopes for the year ahead. I start by asking the 6’8” heavyweight contender his feelings on returning to the scene of his only two defeats.

“My return to the Echo Arena is not a problem at all” the Sauerland-promoted Price tells Livefight. “In the two years I’ve spent away my whole out-look has changed mentally. This is just about me getting back inside a boxing ring for another fight and I know everyone will be willing me to perform on the night and I’m expecting positive vibes when I step into the ring.”

“People say about the Thompson fights but I also had some great nights (at the Echo Arena) like the Audley Harrison fight (stopped in 82 seconds) so I’m turning that into a positive.”

Since his last reverse nearly two years ago, Price has gone back to his boxing, noticeably using the jab more and showing more mobility while being mindful not to open up the heavy artillery too early on his opponents.

“I feel I’ve evolved very much as a fighter in the last couple of years” reflects David. “I’ve never watched my fights back more than once as I’m my own worst critic and too picky but we’ve recently put the TV in the gym to watch all my fights from the Sam Sexton (three years ago) fight to the last one (a stoppage of Irineu Beato Costa Junior in February). Watching them I can see a lot of differences in my style and that I’m more relaxed now….the fights have played a part but also all the countless hours working hard in the gym.”

After the last Thompson loss two years ago, Price took six months out to lick his wounds, vacated both the British and Commonwealth titles before making his debut under Sauerland promotions in early 2014. Although his first bout would be a brief success against Istvan Ruzsinszky, the comebacking Englishman would have to work harder in subsequent contests when coming off the floor to stop Ondrej Pala before being forced to navigate the full ten rounds against rugged Ukrainian Yaroslav Zavorotnyi.

“In the past I’ve always put a lot of pressure on myself” David reasons to Livefight. “I saw boxing as a means to an end and I felt there was a lot of pressure on me to keep winning and provide security for my family. Right now I feel like I’ve just turned pro again as I’ve got the enjoyment (of boxing) back.”

“Pala I had to come off the floor to win and then going ten rounds with Zavorotnyi, a guy who came to win and kept trying right until the end, were good experiences and for me more boxes ticked.”

The three mentioned victories would come in the first half of last year before Price was forced out with injuries until his emphatic six-round stoppage of Brazilian Costa Junior three months ago. The June 26th date will thus be his second ring outing of the year though nailing down an opponent has proven to be something of an ordeal for team Price.

“There’s been loads of names being thrown about and various negotiations have been back and forth over and over. Teper’s name came up but the fight couldn’t be made so I’ve yet to find out my opponent. It may be for an Inter-Continental title of some sort hopefully all will be confirmed soon.”

While the heavy-handed Liverpudlian has been rebuilding away from home, fellow Brit heavyweights Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have both continued their respective unbeaten runs with many tipping both for world success. I ask has it been frustrating to have his rival’s seemingly overtake him in the UK ranks while he has been fighting relatively low-key assignments overseas?

“It’s a bit frustrating, not in an envious way, that Fury’s been handled just that little bit better, in terms of picking the right fights, and has gotten into the position he is currently in. He’s remained undefeated and now looks set for a world heavyweight title shot. It wasn’t to be for me to get to that stage without a slip up and he hasn’t had to experience defeat and the lows it brings. Joshua is a talented fighter, he’s only been a pro 18 months or so and has done nothing wrong so far so fair play to him.”

“They are on their journey and I’m on mine and no two journeys are the same.”

Although he lost a little ground in his career, the big-punching contender is still ranked highly with three of the world bodies. Has he got any specific route planned for an assault on a portion of the world title?

“To be honest, it’s nice to climb the rankings but at this point I think the best option for me would be a big domestic fight here in the UK. Either Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua would be ideal for that but we’ll just have to wait and see how everything plans out.”

Reports suggest a match between world champion Wladimir Klitschko and Fury may be closer than previously expected. If that intriguing contest was made would Price give his great rival (and former amateur victim) any chance of dethroning the champion?

“I feel Fury has as good a chance of any of Klitschko’s recent challengers. Fury is still undefeated and always finds a way to win. I think he will look to box as a southpaw, to create distance and make it harder for Klitschko to land his big right. If he can get through the twelve rounds without taking anything heavy he could win on points but as soon as (Klitschko) starts landing it’s fight over.”

“If (Steve) Cunningham can drop Fury then there’s little doubt Klitschko can hurt him. It’s heavyweight boxing and anything can happen but, realistically, Klitschko will be a big favourite to retain.”

While we are talking heavyweight titles what does he think of newly-crowned WBC champion Deontay Wilder’s decision to defend against the largely unknown Eric Molina in his first defence of his belt?

“He’s well within his rights for this kind of fight” Price responds lightly. “It’s a gimme fight and everyone knows what is going to happen but if (Molina) is ranked then the only surprise for me is that anyone is surprised the fight has been made!”

Another upcoming fight which has fight fans talking is the May 30th bout between Joshua and Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson. With AJ stopping all his previous eleven opponents inside of three rounds and the gifted, but lazy, Johnson never tasting an inside-distance loss some are hinting an upset may be on the cards.

Price has little doubt of the outcome however as he explains…

“The only way Kevin Johnson can win is if he brings some ambition and I haven’t seen him have any for a good few years now. Against Tyson Fury, he just wouldn’t throw the right-hand when Fury was wide open to it. He also must know winning this fight may open massive doors for him but I can’t see him pulling it off.”

“Joshua is talented and has power, we don’t know whether he carries that (power) into later in a fight and this may be the chance to find that out. Johnson was dropped against Chisora and I think Joshua is a bigger puncher than (Chisora). It’s tricky but I still think Joshua will stop him.”

Going back to his own agenda I ask how ideally the 31 year old’s own career will pan out over the next year or so if all goes to plan on June 26th? He is clinical and prompt in his response.

“If all goes according to plan I’ll win this fight in June, pick up the European title in my next fight before defending that against Anthony Joshua in a big domestic fight later in the year.”

Price was in a similar position to Joshua a few years ago as a former amateur star who was making easy work of decent opposition. The exciting Liverpool star looked a potential world-beater when destroying the likes of John McDermott, Harrison and Matt Skelton but wasn’t quite ready for the still-dangerous Thompson.

I ask whether he feels he could prove the banana skin for Joshua just as Thompson once was for him if the fight was made in the near future?

“If you mean whether I feel I could beat Joshua then yes I could definitely be his bogeyman. I’m not giving the game away to how I would fight him as this is a contest which could in reality happen.”

“I just want to say to all the fans who support me, I look forward to repaying you with a good performance and to all the people who doubt me; thanks for keeping me motivated. Without both (sets of fans) boxing wouldn’t be what it is.”

Rocky Fielding v Brian Vera

David Price will fight in Liverpool for the first time in two years at Echo Arena on Friday 26 June as part of a huge bill live on Sky Sports.

The popular Heavyweight joins an all-star cast on the Matchroom-promoted bill with World-rated Super Middleweight’s Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding in crunch clashes against Christopher Rebrasse and Brian Vera respectively, while Tony Bellew closes in on a first World title shot at Cruiserweight following his victory over bitter rival Nathan Cleverly in November.

Price’s last outing in his hometown was his rematch with Tony Thompson in July 2013, and the 31 year old has since notched four wins in Denmark and Germany with three KOs, a run of form that has landed him a European title fight with Erkan Teper.

Callum Smith’s clash with Rebrasse for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight title represents an acid test for the hotly-tipped 25 year old. Promoter Eddie Hearn said Smith was ready to be “let off the leash” and in Rebrasse he meets a fighter that will ask him tough questions. The Frenchman has travelled to England before when he took George Groves the distance for the European title, and Smith expects the toughest night of his career.

Fielding’s meeting with Vera promises to be an all-action affair as the Texan comes to Liverpool boasting a CV with wins over current World Middleweight king Andy Lee and former World champions Serhiy Dzinziruk and Sergio Mora. Fielding returned to the ring in March from an eight month absence through injury, and the 27 year old is itching to test himself against the visitor.

David Price’s last fight vs Irineu Beato Costa Junior

VIDEO Dirrell vs Degale full press conference


By @JamesHelder_

iFLTV present the official press conference between Andre Dirrell and James Degale, who do battle this weekend for the vacant IBF super middleweight title.

Nick Blackwell - "We'll see how well Ryder copes. Maybe it'll break him"


By @John_Evans79

“Can I ring you back in a bit, mate? I’m just on a run.” Nick Blackwell told Livefight when we called him to discuss his vacant British middleweight title fight with John Ryder.

Ten minutes later, the 25 year old fitness fanatic sounded as though he had just returned from a leisurely stroll rather than a gruelling hill slog as he explained how he has fitted seamlessly into Gary Lockett’s training regime in Cardiff.

“Everything has been hard this training camp. I knew I had to move and he [Lockett] is pointing things out to me and everything is working really well,” said Blackwell, 16-3-1 (6), who faces Ryder on the May 30th bonanza at the O2 Arena. “We’re getting along well too, we clicked really quickly. He’s one of those people you can get on with and the stuff he’s teaching me is stuff I knew I had to be doing. It’s gone really, really well and in two months I’ve learned a lot more than people might think. People might think you need to be with someone for about a year to change but I’ll show them.”

Over the years, Blackwell has forged a reputation as a ‘have gloves, will travel’ figure, routinely packing up his gear and travelling to work with some seriously talented fighters. It goes without saying that a certain amount of high level sparring can only benefit a boxer but Blackwell was in danger of spending his career helping others prepare for their nights of glory rather than getting ready for his own. The fight with Ryder will be his third attempt at claiming a vacant Lonsdale middleweight belt and he heads into it better prepared than ever.

“I’ve always trained really hard and always thought that even if I’m dead tired and my body doesn’t want to do any more I’ve still gotta go out and do that run,” he says. “I’m listening to my body and sparring for me now. At one point I was a sparring partner. I wasn’t getting any pointers, I was just helping people out for what they needed. Now I’m doing what I need. It’s worked out really well. I’m really happy.

“I feel so confident. When you train hard and you’ve lived right you’re always gonna feel confident but I feel extra confident for this fight. I took myself away and I’ve been living and training in Cardiff. My weight is just dropping off. I’ve never been as close to the weight in my life and that shows just how seriously I’ve taken this fight.”

It isn’t down to a lack of ambition on the 26 year old Londoners part but, since being outpointed in his previous British title bid by Billy Joe Saunders in September 2013, Ryder’s progress has been frustratingly slow. The 26 year old Londoner has barely faced a seriously stiff round, let alone fight. In comparison, Blackwell’s level of competition in the 30 months since his own decision defeat to Saunders has been much higher. As well as recording four victories, he dropped former European champion Max Bursak before losing a close verdict in the Ukraine and recorded a creditable draw with Sergey Khomitsky, scourge of unbeaten British hopefuls Adam Etches and Frank Buglioni.

“John Ryder hasn’t had it easy but he’s had it a lot easier than me,” Blackwell said. “People can’t say I’ve had it easy. I went in and competed with Martin Murray when I shouldn’t have [as an 8-0 novice]. I went to the Ukraine and fought in Max Bursak’s backyard. I fought Billy Joe Saunders. I’ve learned from all that. The only person Ryder’s fought is Saunders and he lost to him. I’m mates with Billy Joe and he was going to pull out of their fight because he was really ill and he said if John Ryder was anything decent he would have beaten him that night.

“John Ryder’s a good fighter though. He hasn’t looked good in his last couple of performances but I think that’s just because of the opposition he’s fought, they hard to make yourself look good against. When he says that it’s hard to get yourself up against people like that, well, a lot of people like me would love that kind of opportunity where you’re fighting live on Sky Sports. That’d be like a world title for a lot of people so if you can’t raise yourself for something like that, well, give the chance to somebody else.

“Every fight you should train for as if it’s a world title fight. If you can’t get up for it, give the opportunity to somebody else.

“I’ve been twelve rounds in hard, hard fights. He lost to Billy Joe Saunders and Billy is a good fighter and he makes you think but he isn’t a big hitter. When he’s getting hit by somebody and they just keep coming forward no matter what you throw at them, we’ll see how he’s gonna cope with that and whether it’ll break him.

“It’s gonna be totally new to him. It’s not new to me. I’ve been there and done it.”

Super Eagle Sonjica finally set to return next week


By Michael J Jones

SOUTH AFRICAN southpaw Thabo “Super Eagle” Sonjica makes a belated return to the ring on May 30 as he takes on tough George Krampah at the Orient Theatre, East London in SA.

A year ago the tall puncher looked set for an assualt on the big names of the super-bantamweight division but instead he lost his IBO title on the scales before out-scoring Roli Gasca and enduring a nine month lay-off.

Since his last bout, the 20-2 (14) “Super Eagle” has moved up to the 126lb featherweight division and has changed promoters. The plucky Thabo has also become a proud father for the first time but still has big ambitions in his boxing career.

Since his debut in 2007, the big-hitting southpaw has won both the South African and IBO titles and craves a major fight against a top-level opponent to cement his name in the world rankings.

In 2011 Sonjica would suffer two KO defeats to arch rival Macbute Sinyabi in challenges to the SA 122lb titles but has comeback from his only losses to hit the best form of his career. A stoppage in three rounds over former world champion Simphiwe Nongqoyi in late 2012 was followed by a points triumph to avenge his defeats to nemisis Sinyabi just four months later.

The gifted puncher is now unbeaten in his last six against good opposition and is set to build on that form as a featherweight. His opponent next week, George Kampah, is no tomato can either...

Kampah is 13-1 (11) and a Ghanaian champion at 126lbs. The two men meet for the WBC Silver International title in what is surely to be an exciting match.

Kampah's only loss was three months into his career when an undefeated fighter named Michael Pappoe stopped him in six.

Sonjica is freakishly tall for a featherweight at 5'9” but hits like a mule. If he has carried his power up to his new weight division he must surely be expected to stop Kampah. The co-challenger looks strong and game but hasn't fought at this higher level and may get a shock when he starts tasting the left hand of Sonjica.

It is expected that, regardless to the outcome of the fight, Sonjica will be competing in the super-featherweight division after the Kampah bout.

41 year old former cruiserweight contender to make shock return this Saturday


By Michael J Jones

THIS SATURDAY at Central Hall in Liverpool, a former British cruiserweight contender steps into a boxing ring for the first time in eight long years. Now 41-years-old, Tony Moran was once an exciting fighter in the British cruiserweight ranks who challenged for the British and Commonwealth titles in 2004.

His unlikely comeback comes off the back of a succesful spell in mixed martial arts where he achieved universal respect as both a competitor and world class sparring partner for the likes of MMA superstars Rampage Jackson and Michael Bisping.

In his boxing career, the 6'6” Moran turned pro late (at 28) way back in 2001. He would taste defeat in both his first two contests before improving to earn victory in his next eleven contests. The unbeaten run saw him rewarded with a shot at the in-form Mark Hobson with both the British and Commonwealth belts on the line.

While Moran was considered little more than a decent prospect, Yorkshire's Hobson was considered fringe world class and the big favourite entering the bout. However, Moran gamely took the fight to the champion and the crowd was treated to a toe-to-toe slugfest between two tall punchers.

Both gave and took plenty before the vastly more-experienced Hobson found room for a peach of a right-hand to end matters in the third. Despite an impressive challenge, Moran faded away in the two years after his first KO loss. He would be stopped in three of his last four before hanging his gloves up in 2007 following a loss to (the amusingly-named) Chris P Bacon.

The comebacking scouser's opponent for Saturday's contest is listed as Blackpool's Mathew Ellis. If that is correct the fight will actually be a rematch from twelve years ago. On that occasion Moran was firmly on top before Ellis was forced out due to a shoulder injury.

Ellis, many years ago considered a decent heavyweight prospect, is also on the comeback trail having boxed last month after a five-year absence. The two have a combined age of 81 but age is increasingly becoming less of a factor in modern-day boxing.

Moran has said he believes a lack of correct diet during his boxing days cost him dearly as he would regularly run out of steam after the first few rounds of his fights. He was a tall, hard-punching boxer at his best and even after eight years out, surely must start favourite over Ellie who has lost every half-decent test he's faced in the last decade or so.

Also on the bill sees the next ring outing of long-time super-middleweight contender Tony Dodson as well as super-bantamweight bruiser Paul Economides. Chester's Economides, nicknamed “The Spartan” is chasing the big names of the division including British champion Gavin McDonnell.

From Chump to Champ - Luke Blackedge’s remarkable story


By Tim Rickson


You often hear stories of boxing saving wayward kids from straying down the wrong path in life but Luke Blackledge’s tale is one that could be turned into a movie.

The super-middleweight from Clitheroe has had his trials and tribulations in life and managed to come through all adversities to lift the Commonwealth title in front of a packed St. George’s Hall in Blackburn on April 4th 2015.

“It’s the biggest achievement ever, from not ever boxing to being a Commonwealth champion, it’s a dream come true, it’s amazing,” were the words spoken by the newly crowned Commonwealth super-middleweight champion after defeating a former ABA winner in Liam Cameron.

The 168-pounder moved up to seventh in the talent-packed division topped by former world champion, Carl Froch, also a sparring partner of his.

The 24-year-old Lanky has gone from chump to champ in as little as five years to reach this accomplishment in his career after spending his youth getting kicked out of every school that would take him, battling against grief, frequently arrested for scrapping in the streets and eventually having time out at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Known to friends as ‘Robbo’, owing to his real name being Luke Robinson, (at the time of turning professional he opted to box under his father’s name of Blackledge due to another boxer already named Luke Robinson in nearby Castleford) the delinquent was consistently offending and wasting his youth behind bars with no direction and very little hope in life.

The once troubled teen told his story from the start, “I was always in trouble at school when I was young, like five or six-years-old. It wasn’t that I was naughty but probably more because of what happened to my dad, because he wasn’t around and I went a bit off the rails.

“He died young and I didn’t have any male influence in my life and when I was older I hung around with the wrong people as a teenager, drinking on the streets, got into a lot of trouble, always fighting and went to jail a few times.

“I probably went to jail from the age of 17 or even younger than that, I don’t know. I went in five times and spent a duration of about four years inside altogether.”

The taxpayer’s money that is spent on an expensive prison system is meant to serve as a deterrent, a form of punishment and a chance to reform. Each time, all three of these purposes were lost on the errant Luke Robinson and he found himself back on the inside more times than he would care to remember.

This is where the 2,700-year-old sport of boxing enters the fray and immediately works to turn his destructive life around.

“I just came out of prison that last time and went straight to a boxing gym,” he smiled. “I was just training and the coach came over and asked me if I wanted to fight straight away, I had my first fight after two weeks and then I had another fight two weeks after that!"

“I was still young so as soon as I got into boxing it taught me some respect and got me back on the straight and narrow.In one week, I had four fights. I did a prize-fighter tournament one weekend and then another fight about five days after."

“Because I won all of the titles and I beat everyone, I was getting £400 - £500 per fight. I had around 60 fights in total over about two and a half years and only lost once.”

Anyone that fights 60 times in 30 months and only suffers one defeat is very likely to have accrued some crucial boxing skills, albeit a few inevitable bad habits to boot, built a decent fan following and caught the eye of at least one influential figure that could make a difference if impressed upon.

Local promoter, Steve Woods had been keeping an eye on the unlicensed star for some time but had his reservations about taking him on due to his colourful past.

“Steve Woods was the most important promoter in the area and I caught his eye,” Blackledge explained. “I didn’t ever even think of turning pro at any point. I think I had a meeting with him and he was a bit funny about taking me on, there were two other lads there at the time both saying they wanted to be a world champion, I just sat there all quiet. The other two lads had good amateur backgrounds and he kept asking me about my amateur experience."

“Then I went to Steve Woods’ gym for a meeting with the Board and they was there watching me in a demonstration spar and said I was good enough for the pro licence. I sparred against Brian Rose and I stuck it on him because the Board was there and I went in like a madman at first but in the second round he boxed my head off! I still managed to do the four rounds with him and that was enough for the board to decide.”

From that vital decision in 2010 emerged an exciting young prospect although a bit green, raw and rough around the edges with absolutely no amateur experience but clearly eager, motivated, willing to learn and wholly committed to dedicating himself to his craft.

That risky rookie quickly raced to 14 fights unbeaten in his first two and a half years within his new profession.

Along with this great start, Blackledge had also scooped up two Masters titles at two different weights (super-middleweight and light-heavyweight) and defeated Denmark’s ‘Golden Boy’ Mads Larsen 51-4 in his own back yard.

With his confidence at stratosphere levels, the eager ex-con took another trip out to the same Scandinavian country with the determined mentality to add another Danish scalp to his record.

Copenhagen’s Rudy Markussen 38-3 was the intended victim and at stake was the vacant WBC Youth World and WBO Youth Intercontinental light-heavyweight titles.
Instead, best-laid plans began to unravel in the week preceding the bout with a sudden opponent switch to Sweden’s number one light-heavyweight, Erik Skoglund 22-0.

Blackledge overcomes Cameron

“I had my first loss in Denmark against Skoglund,” said a deflated Blackledge as he recalls his first reverse. “I was meant to fight Rudy Markussen which was a winnable fight for me but they swapped the opponent a week before the fight and it was either fight Skoglund at light-heavyweight or no one at all.”

Skoglund won unanimously on points with one judge scoring the contest just a single round apart.

“I actually thought I won the fight but I lost it by two rounds for the WBC Youth World title. He’s actually fighting for a world title next and he had over 200 fights as an amateur.”

Further disappointment followed when he returned home to fight Alistair Warren 8-9-4 and a clash of heads in the second round brought a halt to the contest that resulted in a technical draw for both boxers thus losing out on the chance to capture the vacant Central Area super-middleweight strap.

Things then began to look up briefly after a standard win over journeyman, Iain Jackson 4-27-2 set the Blackburn fighter up for a crack at British super-middleweight champion, Paul Smith.

On the way home from a hard sparring session with The Cobra in his Nottingham gym, Team Blackledge learnt of Smith’s withdrawal from the fight only to receive another phone call a few days later with an offer from the Commonwealth super-middleweight champion, Rocky Fielding.

“My other loss was Rocky Fielding,” clarified Blackledge. “I got the phone call two days before the fight and I took it. I had already done a hard 12 rounds with Carl Froch and another four rounds with Ronnie Heffron on the same week that I fought him.

“To be honest, I wasn’t that experienced and at the time I would have fought anyone and gone anywhere to fight them. I wasn’t as knowledgeable as I am now and I would even have fought Carl Froch back then. That was just me being uneducated, to do well in boxing you’ve got to be smart and choose well. I’ll not be doing that again, I’m more educated and knowledgeable now.”

The latter statement rings true as the inspirational sporting figure has clocked up five straight wins working under the tutelage of former good pro Alex Matvienko.

With the ‘One Man Riot’ orchestrating his training and masterminding his gameplans, the rejuvenated 24-year-old made history in his North West town by becoming the first boxer in 50 years to win a professional title in a Blackburn ring gaining him a reputation for the right kind after years of notoriety in his earlier days.

It was via a unanimous points win over tough Ghanaian, Philip ‘Sweet Pea’ Kotey in September last year and rewarded Blackledge with his first significant accolade – the WBC Silver International super-middleweight title.

“A lot of people started following me after that and more people have been taking notice since then,” he remarked. “I got a lot of support in my last fight, I sold over 230 tickets just in the local area and in my next fight I’ll expect even more support.

Blackburn Rovers FC have welcomed their local boxing hero to Ewood Park on a few occasions and midfielder, David Dunn could be seen walking Blackledge to the ring on April 4th holding his WBC belt aloft.

Since winning the Commonwealth strap, he has become the target for many others in the red-hot 168lbs division, ‘The Wise Guy’ Frank Buglioni being one of them.

The hugely popular North Londoner has made it public knowledge that he has offered the fight to the new owner of the Commonwealth strap but Blackledge dismissed the invitation claiming that the timing was not sufficient enough to prepare.

“They offered me the fight with about three weeks notice but after a hard 12 rounds it wasn’t right for me to take it especially in his own backyard,” he said. “I’ve fought in other’s backyards before and look how it turned out. I’m in the position to take my time and choose carefully now.”

The latest strap that adorns the Clitheroe fighter’s waist has indeed put him in a position to be a chooser for the first time as opposed to the chaser that he has been for entirety of his career so far. This should see the likeable Lanky finally end up involved in some big TV fights appearing in front of a wider audience who presently may only remember him for his first round loss to Rocky that time.

“I’d love to defend my Commonwealth title on a TV show against a good opponent in a 50-50 fight and maybe at the end of the year I could box Buglioni for the British title.
“It’s a beautiful belt and it’s the biggest title in Britain so that’s what I want,” he concluded.

Luke would like to thank his sponsors, AJ Wood Ltd, SAGraphics Ltd, Natural Sports Food, New Age Hydrophonics, Home Run Chicken & Pizza, and PR Manager Tim Rickson.

To follow Luke Blackledge on Twitter click here @LukeBlackledge

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