Luke Blackledge insists he won’t be rushing into big fights despite wanting to get himself back in contention in the domestic super middleweight division. 

Darwen’s former Commonwealth champion battled past the durable and dangerous Darryl Sharp at the Whites Hotel in Bolton on Saturday night. 

In his first outing since December, the 28-year-old was pushed to the limit before getting the decision 58-57 after six hard rounds. 

A 26th professional win, Blackledge also having six defeats and two draws on his record, moves the Clitheroe-born fighter nearer to another title opportunity but he insists he is ready to wait for the right fight to come along. 

“I’ve been offered a lot of big fights but I’ve had a lot of time out of the ring,” said Blackledge, who has shared the ring with the country’s top 168lb fighters including current world champion Callum Smith. 

“I need to build myself back up and get a good few rounds under my belt before I step it up. 

“If the right fight and the right money comes up, that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. 

“If it’s a big money fight and makes sense then I would take it. 

“There’s certainly no rush though.”

While some journeyman come simply to survive and pick up their cheque, Sharp was determined to add to his five wins and get an impressive name on his record. 

The Middleton man came out firing and put Blackledge under real pressure throughout, a clash of heads early on not helping the East Lancashire fighter’s cause. 

Come the final bell some observers felt Sharp was hard done by with Blackledge just pleased to get the nod. 

“I had a good training camp for this fight but I knew he was going to be tough,” said the former British title challenger. 

“He stuck it on me and we clashed heads in the first or second round. 

“The cut didn’t help and when he saw that he put more pressure on. 

“It was a bit scrappy times but I gritted it out and the main thing was getting the win. 

“He’s a tough journeyman who’s fighting every week and I’ve not fought since December. 

“I’m going to be back out in June and need to be consistent now.”

Blackledge will be appearing on Kevin Maree’s June 30 show, in association with Frank Duffin Promotions, at the Colne Municipal Hall, the Sunday afternoon event featuring a host of East Lancashire talent. 

Blackburn’s Artif Ali and Kurt Grieve, Earby’s Josh Holmes and Rossendale’s Aaron Hayden are all in action with Fylde coast pair Alex McCloy, from Blackpool, and Fleetwood’s Dan Catlin also on the card. Keighley’s Liam O’Reilly makes his professional debut. 

Doors open at 2pm with the fights getting under way at 3pm. Tickets, priced £30 for balcony and £35 for ringside, are available from the boxers. 

Blackledge’s fight against Sharp is available to watch on the VIP Boxing YouTube page.