Sport

Boxer Luke Blackledge sees off former world champ

Accrington boxer Luke Blackledge is celebrating his 10th win in a row since turning professional just 19 months ago.

Luke Blackledge

Accrington boxer Luke Blackledge is celebrating his 10th win in a row since turning professional just 19 months ago.

And what’s more, the 21-year-old chalked up his latest victory as an underdog against former world champion Mads Larsen on Saturday.

The Danish veteran, 39, went into the fight with an impressive record of 51 wins and just three losses, and was fighting on his own turf in Herning.

But Blackledge, who trains at the Kokoro Boxing Gym in Accrington, stopped Larsen in the fourth round of a scheduled eight-rounder.

"This fight was a real big one for us as it was Luke’s first fight abroad and was against high-class opposition in Mads Larsen," said his coach Jason Curtis.

"Luke was the away fighter and the crowd were quite hostile. However, Luke took the fight to him.

"Although he was out-boxed the first couple of rounds, his pressure style of fighting we’ve always worked on broke his spirit and allowed Luke to time a lovely overhand right through the southpaw guard of Larsen, putting him down on one knee.

"It was a class victory which has put him on the map, as it were. Luke is now ranked number eight in Britain and 73 in the world."

Blackledge took the fight at short notice after Rocky Fielding pulled out of their Central Area super-middleweight title fight in Manchester last week.

"A key factor in boxing is ring readiness and Luke is most certainly always ready," said Curtis. "This was his 40th contest in just 40 months of training at Kokoro gym and his 10th pro fight in just 19 months as a pro.

"Larsen, however, had only boxed once in the last two years, which is why I was keen to take such a step up for him in terms of class of opponent.

"Luke always stays focused, dedicated and determined and he’ll fight virtually anyone out there.

"It’s been a disappointing couple of months for him after being knocked back from a challenge to fight Chris Eubank jr and more recently Rocky Fielding – last year’s Prizefighter champion – who pulled out just a week before with no excuse, leaving us in limbo yet again.

"But title shots will surely come now – Luke can’t be avoided forever. Watch this space!"