Blackwell has perhaps been one of the most spoken words in sport over the past month. Blackwell fought Brighton born and raised, Chris Eubank Junior in a middleweight clash at the 02 arena on March 27th. The fight was stopped in the 10th round following advice by the doctor, due to immense swelling above Blackwell’s left eye.
He was then taken out of the ring on a stretcher, receiving oxygen. He was then placed in a coma to recover after mild bleeding on the brain. His fate seemed uncertain as the rest of the boxing world remained in shock and frustration.
The Eubank team remained professional and respectful after Eubank had taken the belt from Blackwell. Eubank Snr insisted, “No celebration by my family or Team Eubank has happened. And it will not happen until Nick makes a full recovery. And I mean a full recovery.”
A week later, Nick woke up from his coma. During that time and for some time after, much scrutiny has come down on the refereeing of the fight, with people claiming the referee should have stopped the fight long before the doctors advice. However the British Boxing Board of Control general secretary, Robert Smith, has backed the handling of the fight.
Robert Smith told Sky News, “There were experienced officials refereeing there. Nick was fighting back and although he was obviously losing, he was still fit and ready to go.
“The referee felt he did the right thing and I would stand by that. We will be getting reports with regard to what went on that evening and will consider it at a later date but at the present time, from speaking to the referee and Nick’s trainer, I’m happy with the decision they made at the present time.
Blackwell today replied to a fan’s comment, [Have you decided if you’re coming back yet or not?]
Blackwell replied, “no that’s me done I can’t put my friends and family and self through that again but I’ll still be involved”
— NICK BLACKWELL (@nickblackwell02) April 18, 2016
It’s a stark reminder about the dangers that these elite athletes put themselves through, and that every time they go into the ring, could be their last.
Image: The Sun