Jimmy Kelly Jr vs Luke Blackledge

Jimmy Kelly Jr faces former Commonwealth champion in next fight

Published On Thursday, January 30, 2020By Chris Glover

Date and venue confirmed for next Contender VIP event, with Jimmy Kelly Jr vs Luke Blackledge added to card

Contender VIP Promotions have revealed they are expanding into bigger venues, with the four-figure capacity arena, The Point, at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester being the chosen setting for the April 4 installment of the popular series.

The Point has established itself as one of Manchester's most exclusive venues for events over recent years, with crowds of over 1,000 spectators filling the Old Trafford location for many highlights of the North West social calendar coming from the world of sports, music, fashion and more. 

Promoter Mike Le-Gallez, who is the driving force behind the quick success and progression of Contender VIP Promotions discussed the reasons behind moving venues from Deansgate's Hilton Hotel to Old Trafford Cricket Club.

Le-Gallez stated, "The Hilton Hotel is a fantastic venue which I am sure we will use at some point in the future again. I am very grateful to all of their staff for the amazing efforts they put in to make the nights we've had there run as perfectly as they have.

"The reason for the move in venues is we simply needed more seats. We have been selling out the Hilton Hotel with ease, and Contender VIP Promotions is expanding rapidly, so we had to switch our venues to somewhere that has all the class and prestige of the Hilton, Deansgate, but bigger capacity wise, and I believe we have found that at 'The Point'."

The April 4 card will also see the return to Manchester of popular one-time world title challenger Jimmy Kelly Jr (24-2), as he clashes with former WBC International and Commonwealth Champion Luke Blackedge (26-9-2) in an all-North West battle.

Wythenshawe native 'Jimmy' Kilrain Kelly, 27-years-old, is looking to build himself back into title contention. The two time WBO Intercontinental super-welterweight champion challenged for the WBO world title against holder Liam Smith in 2015, but was halted in the seventh round by the then-unbeaten Liverpudlian known as 'Beefy'.

Signed to American-based promoters Havoc Management, Kelly Jr discussed his forthcoming fight with Clitheroe's Blackledge, "Firstly I want to thank my team James Mulvihill, Arnie Farnell, as well as Andre Rozier and Chris Glover at Havoc for backing me so far and battling to get me back into contention after my layoff. It's not been easy but we've really got the fight we want to get the ball back rolling.

"I have got to massively thank Mike Le-Gallez for giving me an opportunity on one of the best shows in the country right now against a good opponent in Luke Blackedge. This is going to be a great fight for me, but I'm really convinced that people haven't seen the best of Jimmy Kelly Jnr and I will show that on the night.

"I want to rebuild back towards titles, and this is a perfect place to start from an opponent and an event point of view. I'm excited to put on a career-best performance come April 4."

Also on the card is a Central Area lightweight battle between champion Steve Brogan (14-2-2) and challenger Jimmy First (9-0).

Super-lightweights Jake James (7-0), Luke Evans (10-0), Dan Booth (4-0), and Liam O'Reilly (2-0) will all be facing each other on the night.

More details will be announced shortly.