Eubank stops Blackwell in the 10th round to capture the British Middleweight Belt
Information on Nick Blackwell
Following this fight, Nick Blackwell collapsed and was admitted to hospital after it was believed that he had suffered bleeding to the brain. Reports have since emerged that he did not suffer it to the brain, but rather to the skull. His forehead was extremely swollen and he was put into an induced coma. As of today (4th April 2016), Blackwell has woken up from his coma and has been speaking to his family, 9 days after the fight. He has not had to undergo surgery. I wish him all the best in his recovery.
It is unfortunate what has happened to Nick Blackwell following this incredible bout. This was a very exciting matchup between 2 warriors, both having given everything that they had. Big punches. Tremendous heart. Blood. Guts. Determination. A will to entertain and a will to win. However, in the 10th round Blackwell was ordered to get checked by the doctor, who informed the referee that he had sustained too much damage and the fight was subsequently called off. This was another horrendous scenario for the Eubank team too, bringing back memories of his father, Eubank Sr.’s fight against Michael Watson, who was left permanently damaged following their fight. Credit to them, both Sr. (who was in his son’s corner) and Jr. had been informing the referee to call off the fight, realising that Blackwell was suffering a lot of damage. I wanted to wait until Blackwell’s condition was clear and more known before writing an article about the fight.
Moving onto the bout itself. This action-packed fight earned both fighters a tonne of respect from boxing fans. Chris Eubank Jr showed that as an all-round fighter and package, he most certainly has star quality. A sublime physique and conditioning, very mentally tough, determined, possessing a lot of speed and power. Sure, Eubank does get hit more often that he perhaps should. But he showed in this fight (and in his last fight with Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan) that when it comes to producing truly magnificent shows, he is box-office. A lot of his showmanship and fighting style is influenced from his father, Chris Eubank Sr., a former British world champion at middleweight.
Against Blackwell, Eubank showed tremendous heart and power. He was relentless with his combinations, throwing several punches in bunches. His uppercuts were magnificent, able to land huge shots on his opponent. He showed that he was a level above Blackwell in terms of skillset, power and speed. However, Blackwell must be hugely credited for his truly amazing toughness. He did not even get knocked down despite getting tagged with a lot of vicious shots, demonstrating incredible heart. Blackwell landed some excellent shots himself onto Eubank, however his opponent took these on the chin (literally). It was an intense but scintillating fight for the British title. Eubank will be looking towards bigger fights on the world scene following this stoppage victory, targeting world champions such as Danny Jacobs, a rematch with Billy-Joe Saunders and possibly a huge bout with Gennady Golovkin.
Eubank is brilliant at utilising his work rate along with his skills. The guy is a phenomenal athlete. His stamina allows him to keep up a high volume of punches from the start right through to the end of a fight. Against Blackwell, an extremely tough competitor who also has a granite chin, he executed his punches with such precision, power and venom. Yet, he was able to keep this up right through until the stoppage. Although Eubank is a skilled fighter, he definitely has aspects to work on. His defence at times can be questioned, leaving himself open to shots. This was the case against Blackwell, getting hit with the odd shot here and there following a barrage of punches thrown at Blackwell. Furthermore, Eubank used to showboat a lot in his earlier fights, but seems to have reduced this from his game considerably. Eubank has also improved a lot from the Billy-Joe Saunders fight, the only loss of his career up to this point. This was a close split-decision loss, however Eubank found it much harder to get into his rhythm against a boxer as skilled and as slippery as Saunders.
Nonetheless, Eubank’s future looks extremely bright. He is such a watchable fighter. Even casual fans of the sport get excited when watching him. He oozes class and excitement in every single fight. His win against Blackwell was a win against a good quality opponent, but highlights the fact that he needs to move onto securing a world title shot. A rematch with Saunders would be fascinating to watch. It would be interesting to see just how much he has improved from his previous loss to him. In the future, a matchup with Golovkin would be mouth-watering. Golovkin is the best 160 pounder in the world and has blasted opponent after opponent out. However, although this would be a very hard fight for Eubank, it would be intriguing to see how Golovkin would do with Eubank, a fighter with a great chin and a high intensity.
Had the injury not occurred, Blackwell looked like he was also going to have a bright future in the sport. This would have been his 4th loss, however he had no amateur career and had managed to work his way up to winning the British title. This showed that he definitely has talent and toughness as a boxer. Currently, he is facing his biggest fight outside the ring with the damage he suffered against Eubank. This unfortunately means that his boxing career is likely to be over. However, he will certainly be able to offer the sport so much in other capacities. If he does not fight again, he will always be known as a fighter who truly gave his all.
Get well soon, champ.