Friday 20 April 2018

Video: Twitter aghast as Chris Eubank Jr asked if he'd swap title for Nick Blackwell's health

Chris Eubank Sr and his son Chris Jr did remarkably well to stay calm
Chris Eubank Sr and his son Chris Jr did remarkably well to stay calm

James Orr

A Channel 4 presenter has come in for much criticism on social media after asking Chris Eubank Jr to choose between the heath of his opponent Nick Blackwell, who remains in hospital in an induced coma following their brutal fight on Saturday, and the British middleweight title that he won from the bout (watch below).

The 25-year-old Blackwell was found to have suffered a small bleed on the brain since he collapsed at the end of the defeat by Eubank Jr at the o2 Arena in London.

Referee Victor Loughlin stopped the fight in the 10th round because of the horrific swelling around Blackwell's left eye, but only shortly before Chris Eubank Sr had told his son to aim his shots at his opponent's body rather than his head.

Eubank Sr would later confirm that he did order his son to target the body and not the head to stop Blackwell suffering more damage.


In the now infamous interview on Channel 4, Matt Frei asked Eubank Jr: "If you had the choice of having Nick Blackwell in perfect health - he didn't have to be in an induced coma - or holding on to your belt, what would it be?"

The boxer replied: "That's not a fair question, I'm not going to answer that. This is my life, I'm in there to do a job. I don't wish any harm on anybody outside the ring and I wish him a full recovery.

Earlier on in the interview, Frei had annnoyed Eubank Sr, who left Michael Watson partially paralysed and with irreparable brain damage during their infamous 1991 fight, when asking him about his directions to his son while in his corner on Saturday.

"If it's about winning; is this advice you gave to your son giving him mixed messages; is it confusing?" Frei asked.

Eubank Sr replied: "Your line of questioning is not conducive to to a good interview."

Frei then goaded Eubank Sr, despite it being a sensitive time for the pair with Blackwell in a coma.

Frei: "Why [is the questioning not conducive to the interview]?"

Eubank Snr: "It just isn't; it's not going anywhere. You're asking me..."

Frei: "What's wrong with the line of questioning?"

Eubank Snr: "It's unfair."

Frei: "Why is it unfair?"

Eubank Snr: "The objective is to score your points. If anything, this fight wasn't an exception in that I gave him this advice, it's a rule of thumb. If you don't need to land shots to the head, then don't. It was a command I gave him in telling him to go to the body. I walked back and left him to it and he has to make the decision."

Twitter was awash with complaints to the interview, with some users describing it as shocking:

Former heavyweight champion, David Haye, announced that 10 per cent of the sales from his next fight against the undefeated Arnold ‘The Cobra’ Gjergjaj will be donated to Blackwell.

Independent News Service

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