Thursday 29 September 2016

Boxer Nick Blackwell retires because he 'can't put friends and family through that again'

Published 19/04/2016 | 10:47

Nick Blackwell awake in his hospital bed. Photo: Hennessy Sports
Nick Blackwell awake in his hospital bed. Photo: Hennessy Sports

Nick Blackwell has revealed he is resigned to retirement, because he "cannot put my friends and family through that again".

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The former British middleweight champion has made encouraging progress since being placed in an induced coma having collapsed shortly after being stopped in the 10th round of last month's fight with Chris Eubank Jnr.

He was found to have suffered a bleed on the skull but woke a fortnight ago without requiring an operation and has been pictured looking well and enjoying the company of loved ones from his hospital bed.

Asked, however, about a potential ring return - one that would be extremely doubtful even if he did want to fight again, given the British Boxing Board of Control would be highly unlikely to licence him - Blackwell responded negatively.

"No, that's me done," he wrote on Twitter.

"I can't put my friends and family and self through that again but I'll still be involved (in the sport)."

Blackwell won the vacant British title by stopping the promising John Ryder in 2015, and twice successfully defended it before defeat by Eubank Jnr.

Blackwell, who expected to be released from hospital soon, has also been in touch with Eubank Jnr to say he holds no grudge against him despite the nature of their fight, which he plans to watch back.

"I've tried reaching out since you woke," wrote Eubank Jnr, 26. "Haven't heard anything back from you or your team. I hope there's no hard feelings."

Blackwell, 25, replied: "Hello bro, no hard feelings, we were both there doing a job and it was unfortunate what happened but I hope you're okay, champ.

"I haven't watched the fight back yet but will watch it and out (of hospital) in the next few days but (it'd) be good to see you."

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