Luke Blackledge-Erik Skoglund in Play For April 13th
By Terence Dooley
Luke Blackledge's disappointment over the news of Rudy Markussen's neck injury and subsequent withdrawal from their April 13th showdown has been replaced with the excitement of a new challenge after the 22-year-old accepted Sauerland Event's offer of a fight with the undefeated Erik Skoglund at the Arena Nord in Denmark on the same night. Blackledge, 13-0-1 (5), readily accepted the offer of a fight with Skoglund, 15-0 (9), despite having to step up in weight, from super middle to light-heavyweight, for his latest away assignment — he stopped former IBO super middleweight world titlist Mads Larsen in the fourth-round in Denmark last June.
Blackledge is trained by Kevin Maree, who believes that his man is the dark horse of the domestic 168lb division. "I think Luke has the best attitude in boxing," said Maree when confirming the fight during a conversation with BoxingScene. "Luke never turns a fight down. Skoglund is unbeaten and at a weight above, but Luke jumped at this chance. Luke sells a load of tickets, so he could stay at home and build his record against journeymen yet he keeps going into other people's backyard — like he did with Larsen, [Matthew] Barney and [Phill] Fury [both six-round decisions for Blackledge] — and he still gets the wins. It shows a great attitude for someone his age and it is crazy that people keep mentioning [Rocky] Fielding and [Frank] Buglioni, but not Luke — he's been in with by far the better opponents."
Certainly, Blackledge will have his hands full with the 21-year-old Skoglund. The 6' 1'' Swedish boxer will give "Robbo" his toughest test to date, but a win would help the Clitheroe-born boxer secure the experience he needs as he bids to move on with his career.
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