Blackledge unfazed by late change of opponent

Lancashire’s British Masters light-heavyweight champion Luke Blackledge insists a late change of opponent won’t faze him when he headlines VIP Promotions’ ‘Total Carnage’ card at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium on Sunday December 9.

Blackledge, undefeated in 12 with four early finishes, was slated to face Sheffield’s Wayne Reed for his Central Area super-middleweight belt but, after Reed pulled out, now steps in with renowned Welsh hard man Nathan King for the vacant International Masters super-middleweight crown.
“It’s not going to make any difference,” said Blackledge, 22. “It doesn’t make any odds; I’ve been training for a title fight and I’m still boxing for a title.
“Hopefully I can box Wayne Reed in the future but I’ve got Nathan King on Sunday and I’m looking forward to it. He’s a game opponent; he comes forward and he’s aggressive, so it’ll be a wicked fight!”
Luke has a point to prove against King. Last time out in early November, in a lacklustre performance, Blackledge struggled to a draw against unheralded Zimbabwean Farai Musiyiwa. Feeling like he let down himself, his team, and his fans in that last outing, Luke maintains this time around he has been fully focused on the task ahead, has prepared well, and will shine in Bolton.
“My performance last time was awful. I felt like I’d lost the fight and I got a draw, but I had nothing in the tank and shouldn’t have really fought.
“So I’m looking for a really good performance on Sunday. I’ve done everything right. I’ve trained, I’ve dieted right, and I’ve had really good sparring. This is a fight I should look good in. I’m really confident as I am for every fight. I want to make a statement and get a good win on Sunday. I want to really put in a performance.”
Opponent Nathan King appears to be carved from the same granite as all those tough Welsh fighters from yesteryear. The man from the valleys may have won just 12 of 29, but he has only been stopped three times and has fought some of the UK’s best fighters including James DeGale, Kenny Anderson, Tony Quigley, Tony Dodson and Tony Oakey. After getting married and toiling hard as a scaffolder, Nathan returns against Blackledge after a two year boxing break and says that, with a new trainer on board and a fresh zest for the fight game, he is confident of picking up lucky win number 13.
“I’ve been training really hard for a fight and this has come along and I’m really looking forward to it.
“I don’t know much about him apart from he drew in his last fight, but at the end of the day it’s just two boys in the ring. “If he looks at my record he’ll see I’ve boxed all the top boys and most of them I should have beaten.”

Features

Derry Mathews

It can be rather strenuous watching a Derry Mathews fight. Like a penalty shootout in football, a Mathew’s fight squeezes enough drama, tension, and unpredictability into a short duration so his popularity and fight frequency is rightfully high. Next up for the Liverpool veteran is another chance at domestic glory as Walsall’s Martin Gethin put his Lonsdale lightweight belt on the line at the Liverpool Olympia on May 10th.

Fight Reports

Brentwood’s ‘Smokin’ Joe Mullender (6-1) got back on track with a close points win over Peckham’s Diego Burton (4-4-1) over ten rounds at the York Hall on Saturday. It was a belter of a fight on a slightly smaller than usual Goodwin bill, partly due to 'Flash' Ashley Sexton not making weight again (more on this later) and 'Big Dog' AJ Carter’s opponent, who reportedly turned up with Evo-Stick holding his mooey in place.