Luke Blackledge 18-2-2 has revisited the person responsible for his downfall on his first attempt at capturing the Commonwealth super-middleweight title in November 2013 – his old rival Rocky Fielding 19-0.
The two top ten ranked super middleweights have been sparring in preparation for their respective fights – Rocky went in with Latvian Olegs Fedotovs 19-18-2 in Hull on March 7th and Blackledge gets a second crack at the Commonwealth title against Liam Cameron 18-3-0 on April 4th in Blackburn.
Former Commonwealth champion Rocky Fielding, 27-years-old from Liverpool defeated Blackledge in the first round of their fight on 23rd November 2013 at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester.
Fielding and Blackledge’s coaches have a close working relationship and arranged the sparring sessions between them as Luke explained, “My trainer Alex Matvienko and his trainer Oliver Harrison work like part of a team so they arranged it between them. I went to his gym last Friday and they came back to my gym on the Monday.”
The 24-year-old from Clitheroe went on to say, “I did six rounds with Rocky and then a few more with another lad then we did another six rounds on Monday. Both spars went really well, Rocky said to me that I’ve improved more since our fight.
“It was definitely different since we last fought, he is a really good fighter and a bit awkward and he can dig a bit as well. It’s all business at the end of the day, sparring is sparring, you work with each other, learn from each other, you’re not there to hurt each other.”
Blackledge praised his former foe turned sparring partner, “Yeah I think he’ll do really well, if anyone underestimates him like I did then they’ll get a big shock.”
Blackledge had already been in a training camp for an eight-rounder in February when news of the title challenge forced him to pull out of the bout to concentrate on April’s fight.
“I’m fit and I’m sharp already so it’s not about getting the rounds in, it’s about getting the right sparring,” he said.
Top ten ranked super-middleweights Luke Blackledge and Liam Cameron will fight for the vacant Commonwealth title on April 4th at King George’s Hall in Blackburn.
On paper, the pair could hardly be any more evenly matched. Both fighters are ranked in the top ten in their division, they share the same age at 24-years-old and the same number of wins and knockouts on their respectable records.
The rivals have also shared the same opponents each defeating Ghanian Philip Kotey one week apart in September last year. Blackledge shared the ring with the southpaw first, winning widely on points and collecting the WBC International Silver super-middleweight strap in the process. A week later in Sheffield saw the travelling fighter known as Sweet Pea retire in the fourth round at the hands of Cameron.
WBC International Silver champion Luke Blackledge from Blackburn has the home advantage over the Yorkshireman although Cameron has hit fine form with wins over Tobias Webb 15-3-1 in the British title eliminator and collecting the IBO Youth super-middleweight title with a unanimous points decision over tough Sheffield southpaw Wayne Reed 11-10-0.
The fight is part of a VIP Promotions show that also features another title fight on the same night as unbeaten 21-year-old Isaac Lowe 9-0-0 from Morecombe looks to overcome The Tipton Slasher Lee Glover 9-2-0 in a bid for the vacant English featherweight strap.
Unbeaten prospects AJ Faizy 4-0-1, Morgan Jackson 1-0-0 and Qasim Niaz 7-0-0 all take to the stage on the night looking to continue their unbeaten runs.
Accrington’s Artif Ali 6-1-0 will be looking to bounce back from his first loss at the hands of Bobby Jenkinson in December last year. The 26-year-old featherweight tasted his first defeat in the pro ranks with a wide points score going against him at a sports centre in Oldham.
Heavyweight Adam Machaj 4-1-0 also comes into the show off the back of a first defeat losing out on a narrow points decision to debutant Kamil Sokolowski in September last year at the same venue in King George’s Hall, Blackburn.
Luke concluded, “I couldn’t have reached this point without the help of all my supporters and all of my sponsors – AJ Wood Ltd, SAGraphics, Natural Sports Food, New Age Hydrophonics, Home Run Chicken & Pizza and Brawl Sportswear.”
Follow Luke Blackledge on Twitter @LukeBlackledge