Nick Blackwell ‘flatlined and died’ after fight, denounces Eubank reaction
Former British middleweight champion Nick Blackwell has spoken out publicly about the horrific aftermath of his fateful 10th-round stoppage loss at the hands of Chris Eubank Jr., which took place in London, England, on March 26.
Blackwell, who looked to be in tremendous health, appeared on the U.K. breakfast show “Good Morning Britain” in what was his first television interview since the bout that left him fighting for his life with a brain bleed.
“I was placed in an induced coma within 13 1/2 minutes of leaving the ring, but I flatlined and died for a little while (in the ambulance) before being injected with adrenalin.” Blackwell told studio co-host Piers Morgan.
“Recovery has been quick and I’m 100 percent now and back to my old self.”
Morgan then referred to a story which appeared in a U.K. tabloid. It quoted Blackwell’s dismay at the Eubanks’ going ahead with a huge press conference against the wishes of the Blackwell family, and that Eubank Jr. had partied following the fateful bout.
“I’m a little bit disappointed,” said Blackwell. “If Eubank had been in a coma, I would have wanted to be there. Also, my family begged them not to go ahead with that press conference but they did. And they told my family that they would only talk about Eubank’s future.”
Instead, Eubank Sr., who was chief-second for his son that night, made headline news at a packed media event. The former two-weight world champion stated that, after Round 8, he had advised his son to refrain from throwing headshots at his opponent because he feared a tragic outcome.
Blackwell, like many within the boxing community, does not accept that.
“Anyone involved in boxing knows that’s a tactical thing,” said the 25-year-old. “He couldn’t stop me (with punches) to the head, so (Eubank Sr.) wanted him to hit me to the body. In boxing, you’re in there to get rid of your opponent.”
It should be noted that Eubank Jr. continued to fire headshots for the remainder of that contest, which was eventually halted by referee Victor Loughlin, due to a large swelling that had developed around Blackwell’s eye.
The Eubank father-and-son team have issued a response to Blackwell’s remarks, which was read out on GMTV by studio co-host Susanna Reid.
“Public and media pressure was so huge that we felt we had to hold a press conference,” read the statement. “It was done with the full knowledge of the (British) Boxing Board of Control. Nick is a wonderful man, a gentleman and a warrior.”
Blackwell, who was cordial with Eubank Jr. via social networking while in hospital, listened intently but stood his ground.
He said, “When it says there was a lot of pressure to do a press conference, all they had to do was give a one-liner, saying ‘The Blackwell family don’t want us to do it. When he wakes up, then we can do a press conference.’
“I don’t have anything against Eubank Jr. as a fighter. But, as a person, some of the things he done (after the fight), if it were me, I wouldn’t have done them.”
Blackwell said he would be open to sitting down with the Eubanks’ to discuss the issues he has.
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing