Callum Smith will defend his British Super-Middleweight title against mandatory challenger Luke Blackledge at the Manchester Arena on December 10, as part of the pay-per-view Anthony Joshua vs. Eric Molina card.
‘Mundo’ will be making his first defence of the title he won in spectacular fashion last November when he took out his domestic rival Rocky Fielding in Liverpool inside a round. The unbeaten 26 year-old is looking to move to 22-0 and add to his 16 KO wins, and it represents a chance to showcase his ability ahead of facing the winner of James DeGale MBE vs. Badou Jack in the coming year – who themselves face off in Brooklyn on January 14.
Challenger Luke Blackledge (22-2-2) will want to derail Smith’s plans and rip the British belt from him, and the champion expects a stiff test from the former Commonwealth belt-holder as he awaits his World title shot.
“Luke is a good fighter, he comes to win, he’s game and durable and it promises to be a cracking fight,” said Smith. “I’m proud to be British champion and I’ll defend it until I can get a fight for a World title.
“It was good to see James and Badou finally get their fight signed. I was in Washington in April when they both defended their titles and agreed to meet in a unification and I didn’t think it would take this long for the fight to happen.
“I didn’t think I’d have three fights before getting my chance to fight for the World title but they’re ready to fight and while it’s been a bit frustrating, I’ve been active and learning all the time and it’s exciting that I will be fighting for a World title next year.
“It’s a win-win for me. If Jack wins it’ll probably be in Vegas and that’s every fighter’s dream to fight for a World title in Vegas, but if James wins, which I think he will, then that’s a massive domestic fight and we’ve seen that the British fans love those events.”
Smith’s clash with Blackledge is part of a huge night of action in Manchester as Anthony Joshua MBE defends his IBF World Heavyweight title against Eric Molina.