Monday 18 December 2017

'I was saying this to protect the fighter' - Chris Eubank Sr told son not to target head

Nick Blackwell and Chris Eubank Jnr exchange blows
Nick Blackwell and Chris Eubank Jnr exchange blows

Declan Warrington

Chris Eubank Sr has revealed he instructed his son Chris Jr to stop targeting Nick Blackwell's head in an attempt to protect the stricken fighter from further punishment.

Blackwell, 25, has been in an induced coma and was found to have suffered a small bleed on the brain since collapsing at the end of Saturday's British middleweight title defeat by Chris Eubank Jr.

Referee Victor Loughlin stopped the fight in the 10th round because of the horrific swelling around Blackwell's left eye, but only shortly before Eubank Sr told his son to pursue Blackwell's body.

"Even in sparring, I tell Junior to stay away from the head because his punching is fast, powerful and dangerous," said Eubank, who left Michael Watson partially paralysed and with irreparable brain damage during their infamous 1991 fight, in quotes published by the BBC.

"So most certainly I was saying this to protect the fighter."

Eubank Jr, who in winning the British title achieved something that eluded his famous father, has repeatedly spoken of his concern for Blackwell's condition but insisted events since Saturday had not tempted him to quit the sport.

"No fighter wants to see the man after the fight in any type of serious condition," said the 26-year-old.

"I'm not going in there to damage someone, I just went in to fulfil a lifelong ambition and become British champion.

"If you watch the round, you can see me easing off.

"As fighters, we know the risks.

"We know that we are risking our health every time we step in the ring."

Press Association Sport understands that, given the circumstances, Blackwell's condition appears positive.

He will again be assessed from the hospital in Paddington, west London, on Tuesday.

Press Association

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