From no amateur experience to pro champ: Luke Blackledge
Luke Blackledge defeated Liam Cameron recently to become the new Commonwealth super middleweight champion. We caught up with Luke after his big win.
How did it feel on April 4th to hear “and the new Commonwealth champion” and have your hand raised?
“It was by far the best feeling in my career winning the Commonwealth. It was also a big relief because there was a lot of pressure on me so I wanted to do the business and win. I was under a lot of stress, had an injury two weeks before and was ill the week building up to the fight so I had a lot pressure on me and I didn’t want to let fans, team or family down.”
We see you didn’t have any amateur experience in boxing before you turned pro, what inspired you to turn over back in 2010?
“Basically, I was fighting on the unlicensed scene, I had around 60 bouts and only lost one and everyone was saying that I was ready to turn pro. I was sparring with the pro’s all the time and holding my own with Kenny Anderson who beat Robin Reid for the British super-middleweight title.”
Growing up, what did you want to be? What career path do you think you would have went down if you didn’t become a professional boxer?
“To be honest, there was no goal growing up. The goal when I started boxing was to keep me off the streets, I never dreamed I would achieve what I have. I wasn’t really into sports growing up believe it or not.”
You are in a red hot division at 168 lbs, is there any big names in particular you’d like to take a run at in the next 12 months?
“To be honest, it’s up to my team and my trainer. I’ve got to take my time now and pick the right fights at the right time and do the best for Luke Blackledge. There’s no rush, I’m only 24-years-old and I’m in a good position as the new Commonwealth champ.”
As your career progresses this year and next, how far do you think you are away from challenging from a world title?
“You know, when I turned pro I thought my dream would just be for the British but now I’m close to that title and never thought that I’d get this far so there’s no reason why I cant fight for a world title and win.”
The sport of boxing really seems to be coming back to main stream public attention at the moment, with all the various TV platforms around the world that are showing boxing again, and of course the massive impact social media has had on the sport. Do you think boxing can get back to it’s golden days once again, in this new technology driven era we find ourselves living in?
“That’ll be unbelievable if it happened, to have all the live fights on TV, because it would mean more boxing fans and more people would know the boxers but its only on Sky Sports really. I don’t know if it will happen but it would be unbelievable if it ever did. All the top boxers would be known, there’d be a lot more money with it being on TV. There is big money in boxing but its for the pay-per-view fighters like Mayweather.”
In closing, on May 2nd, its likely the whole world will stop to watch the sport of boxing when Mayweather and Pacquiao get in there to duke it out in Vegas, who do you reckon will win?
“I’m going with Pacquiao. Everyone’s thinking Mayweather will do the business, but I’ve got that feeling that Pacquiao as the underdog will pull it off. Mayweather is the best at what he does, he’s a bit of a spoiler but I think that Pac will outwork him and catch up with him and maybe could even stop him. He is slowing down is Mayweather.”
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