Nick Blackwell

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Nick Blackwell
Nick Blackwell - O2 Arena 2015-05-30.jpg
Blackwell in 2015
Statistics
Nickname(s)Bang Bang
Weight(s)Middleweight
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Reach71 in (180 cm)
NationalityBritish
Born (1990-10-27) 27 October 1990 (age 28)
Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights24
Wins19
Wins by KO8
Losses4
Draws1

Nick Blackwell (born 27 October 1990) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 2009 to 2016. He won the English middleweight title in 2010, at the age of twenty, becoming the youngest boxer to do so. In 2011 and 2012 he challenged for the Commonwealth middleweight title, and won the British middleweight title in 2015. Blackwell's career was cut short in 2016 after he was forced to retire due to a serious head injury sustained in the ring.

Professional career[edit]

Blackwell turned professional on 26 June 2009, having had no amateur experience and spending his teenage years in the sport as a white-collar boxer.[1][2][3] He won his first regional title on 20 November 2010, scoring a ten-round unanimous decision against Harry Matthews to become the youngest ever English middleweight champion at twenty years old.[4] On 18 June 2011, Blackwell challenged Martin Murray for his Commonwealth middleweight title, as well as the vacant British middleweight title. Murray handed Blackwell his first career defeat when the latter was pulled out by his corner at the end of round five.[5] A successful defence of the English middleweight title came on 3 March 2012, with Blackwell stopping Martin Concepcion in four rounds.[6]

On 15 December 2012, Blackwell received a second opportunity at the Commonwealth title, this time against defending champion Billy Joe Saunders; the vacant British title was also on the line. This turned out to be a tough outing for Saunders, as Blackwell forced him to go the full twelve rounds. Saunders nonetheless won a unanimous decision on the judges' scorecards, handing Blackwell his second career defeat.[7] Blackwell travelled to Ukraine on 21 September 2013 to fight for the vacant WBA Continental (Europe) middleweight title, but lost a twelve-round unanimous decision to Max Bursak. During the fight, Blackwell scored a knockdown in the fourth round, and the result was seen by some observers as controversial.[1]

Having begun training with former middleweight world title challenger Gary Lockett, Blackwell made a third attempt at the vacant British title on 30 May 2015 against John Ryder. Blackwell achieved his most significant win, on a prominent stage at The O2 Arena in London, by stopping Ryder in seven rounds to become the British middleweight champion.[8] Two successful title defences were made in the remainder of 2015, against Damon Jones on 25 July (sixth-round stoppage), and Jack Arnfield on 14 November (unanimous decision).[9][10]

Blackwell vs. Eubank Jr. match and retirement[edit]

In his third title defence on 26 March 2016 at Wembley Arena, which would have won him the Lonsdale Belt outright, Blackwell lost to Chris Eubank Jr. In a fast-paced fight, Eubank Jr. dominated the action using hard hooks and uppercuts, which eventually led to a bloody nose and a large swelling above Blackwell's left eye. Following the mid-way point and in the corner between rounds, Chris Eubank Sr. was heard to instruct his son to refrain from punching Blackwell in the head; Eubank Sr. himself knowing well the reality of traumatic injuries in boxing from his own ill-fated fight against Michael Watson in 1991,[11] as well as that of former rival Nigel Benn's similar fight against Gerald McClellan in 1995.[12]

In the tenth round the referee summoned the ringside doctor to assess Blackwell, who in turn deemed him unable to continue due to the swelling on his head obstructing his vision, therefore handing Eubank Jr. the victory and title. Some minutes after the fight was stopped, Blackwell was given oxygen and taken out of the arena by stretcher.[13] He was later taken to St Mary's Hospital with bleeding of the skull (outside the brain) and placed in a medically-induced coma, but an operation was not deemed necessary.[14] The following weekend, he was brought out of the coma.[15] In April 2016, Blackwell announced his retirement from boxing via Twitter, but expressed his desire to be involved in the sport in some capacity.[16][17]

Life after boxing[edit]

On 23 May 2016, Blackwell criticised the reaction of Eubank Jr. and his father, following the British middleweight clash which left him fighting for his life. Blackwell was said to have been hurt by the reaction of the Eubanks in the immediate aftermath, despite turning to Twitter to first claim there were no hard feelings. Speaking to ITV's Good Morning Britain, "I was just a little disappointed. If Eubank was in that situation, and he was in a coma, I would want to go and see him. The whole thing with the press conference [which the Eubanks held three days after fight], my family had begged them not to do it and they still went ahead." He added, "Anyone in boxing knows it was more of a tactical thing. He couldn't stop me to the head so he wanted to hit me to the body to try and get rid of me."[18]

Following Blackwell's comments, Eubank Jr. said he was shocked at the criticism he and his father received for holding a press conference when Blackwell was in an induced coma. Eubank Jr. said, "I can understand where this anger and dislike for me can come from. The truth is, I ended the guy's career. I've stopped him from making a living." He had believed there was no hard feelings about what happened, despite Blackwell's claims to the contrary.[19]

In October 2016, Blackwell received a boxing trainer's licence. In late November, he was again taken to hospital after falling seriously ill during a sparring session,[20] with an operation performed to reduce swelling on his brain.[21] An investigation of the events was conducted by the British Boxing Board of Control, following which cruiserweight boxer Hasan Karkardi and his trainer were both suspended from their roles after their involvement in the incident.[22] Blackwell's former trainer Gary Lockett was unaware of the sparring session. Blackwell's brother Daniel confirmed that he regained consciousness from the coma on 23 December.[23][24]

In June 2018, Blackwell made his first public appearance following the ill-fated sparring session, in support of his friend Tyson Fury at the press conference for his fight against Deontay Wilder later that year. Blackwell said his recovery was ongoing and that he had used a wheelchair for a long time.[25]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
24 fights 19 wins 4 losses
By knockout 8 2
By decision 11 2
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
24 Loss 19–4–1 Chris Eubank Jr. TKO 10 (12), 2:21 26 Mar 2016 The SSE Arena Wembley, London, England Lost British middleweight title
23 Win 19–3–1 Jack Arnfield UD 12 14 Nov 2015 City Academy, Bristol, England Retained British middleweight title
22 Win 18–3–1 Damon Jones TKO 6 (12), 3:00 25 Jul 2015 Derby Arena, Derby, England Retained British middleweight title
21 Win 17–3–1 John Ryder TKO 7 (12), 2:36 30 May 2015 The O2 Arena, London, England Won vacant British middleweight title
20 Win 16–3–1 Nathan King PTS 8 8 Nov 2014 Bluewater, Stone, England
19 Draw 15–3–1 Sergey Khomitsky MD 6 25 Oct 2014 Salle des Etoiles, Monte Carlo, Monaco
18 Win 15–3 Terry Carruthers PTS 10 5 Apr 2014 The Forum, Bath, England
17 Win 14–3 Max Maxwell PTS 8 26 Oct 2013 Civic Hall, Trowbridge, England
16 Loss 13–3 Max Bursak UD 12 21 Sep 2013 Sports Palace "Lokomotyv", Kharkiv, Ukraine For vacant WBA Continental (Europe) middleweight title
15 Win 13–2 Ruslans Pojonisevs PTS 6 2 Mar 2013 Civic Hall, Trowbridge, England
14 Loss 12–2 Billy Joe Saunders UD 12 15 Dec 2012 ExCeL, London, England For Commonwealth and vacant British middleweight titles
13 Win 12–1 Mikheil Khutsishvili RTD 1 (10), 3:00 25 May 2012 Civic Hall, Trowbridge, England Won vacant WBC Silver Youth middleweight title
12 Win 11–1 Martin Concepcion TKO 4 (10), 2:28 3 Feb 2012 Civic Hall, Trowbridge, England Retained English middleweight title
11 Win 10–1 Robert Blazo TKO 7 (10), 2:44 17 Dec 2011 Civic Hall, Trowbridge, England
10 Win 9–1 Mihai Macovei TKO 5 (6), 2:00 30 Sep 2011 Oasis Leisure Centre, Swindon, England
9 Loss 8–1 Martin Murray RTD 5 (12), 3:00 18 Jun 2011 Robin Park Arena, Wigan, England For WBA Inter-Continental, Commonwealth, and vacant British middleweight titles
8 Win 8–0 Andrejs Loginovs TKO 4 (6), 1:46 30 Apr 2011 Olympiad Leisure Centre, Chippenham, England
7 Win 7–0 Harry Matthews UD 10 20 Nov 2010 Twerton Park, Bath, England Won vacant English middleweight title
6 Win 6–0 Luke Osman PTS 6 16 Oct 2010 Olympiad Leisure Centre, Chippenham, England
5 Win 5–0 Tomas Grublys PTS 6 23 Apr 2010 Oasis Leisure Centre, Swindon, England
4 Win 4–0 Darren Gethin PTS 4 26 Mar 2010 Civic Hall, Trowbridge, England
3 Win 3–0 Chris Brophy PTS 6 4 Oct 2009 Marriott Hotel, Bristol, England
2 Win 2–0 Davy Jones PTS 6 11 Sep 2009 Civic Hall, Trowbridge, England
1 Win 1–0 Dave Sadler TKO 3 (6), 1:14 26 Jun 2009 Christie Miller Sports Centre, Melksham, England

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Beck, Neil (26 September 2013). "Spot the difference after boxer Nick Blackwell's defeat in Ukraine"[permanent dead link]. The Bath Chronicle. Local World. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Nick Blackwell - Middleweight boxer". Chia Charge. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  3. ^ Barnes, Dan (21 November 2015). "British champ Nick Blackwell eyes up some down time in Cornwall". Wiltshire Times. Newsquest. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Boxer Nick Blackwell makes history with title victory". BBC Sport. BBC. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  5. ^ ESPN staff (18 June 2011). "Murray claims British title with impressive win". ESPN. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  6. ^ Houlihan, Owen (4 March 2012). "Boxing: Brilliant Blackwell retains English title in style". This Is Wiltshire. Newsquest. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  7. ^ Davies, Gareth A (28 November 2014). "Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr – where the fight will be won and lost". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Nick Blackwell wins British middleweight title with stoppage victory over John Ryder". Sky Sports. Sky. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Nick Blackwell and Hughie Fury win in Derby". Sky Sports. Sky. 26 July 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Nick Blackwell beats Jack Arnfield to retain British title". BBC Sport. BBC. 15 November 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  11. ^ Withnall, Adam (28 March 2016). "Nick Blackwell: Did Chris Eubank's shock intervention save the young boxer's life?". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  12. ^ Sweeney, Eamonn (3 April 2016). "Eamonn Sweeney: Nick Blackwell won't be the last fighter whose family have to look at him in a coma". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Nick Blackwell taken to hospital after Chris Eubank Jr wins British title". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 27 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  14. ^ Vulliamy, Elsa (27 March 2016). "Nick Blackwell in induced coma after losing fight to Chris Eubank Jr". The Independent. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  15. ^ Dooley, Terence (4 April 2016). "Nick Blackwell Wins Biggest Fight To Date - Wakes From Coma". BoxingScene. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  16. ^ Lustig, Nick (18 April 2016). "Nick Blackwell says he is 'very lucky' after avoiding serious head injuries". Sky Sports. Sky. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  17. ^ Blackwell, Nick (18 April 2016). "@philipjperry @BoxingRegister no that's me done I can't put my friends and family and self through that again but I'll still be involved". Twitter. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  18. ^ ESPN staff (24 May 2016). "Blackwell disappointed with Eubanks' reaction". ESPN. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  19. ^ ESPN staff (24 May 2016). "Eubank 'shocked' by Blackwell criticism". ESPN. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  20. ^ Foster, Elliott (26 November 2016). "Nick Blackwell 'Stable' After Being Rushed To Hospital Following Spar". BoxingScene. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  21. ^ "British Board Investigating Nick Blackwell Sparring Incident". BoxingScene. 28 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  22. ^ "Nick Blackwell: Hasan Karkardi & Liam Wilkins suspended for sparring incident". BBC Sport. BBC. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  23. ^ Newman, Stuart (23 December 2016). "Nick Blackwell Awakes from Coma: Latest Details, Reaction". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  24. ^ "Nick Blackwell 'smiling again' after waking from coma". ESPN. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  25. ^ Benson, Michael (13 September 2018). "In depth with Nick Blackwell: Former boxer discusses life-altering injuries and long road to recovery in rare interview". Talksport. NewsCorp.

External links[edit]

Professional boxing record for Nick Blackwell from BoxRec

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Darren McDermott
English middleweight champion
20 November 2010 – 2 June 2012
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Kreshnik Qato
New title WBC Silver Youth
middleweight champion

15 December 2012 – 3 October 2013
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Marat Kulumbegov
Vacant
Title last held by
Billy Joe Saunders
British middleweight champion
30 May 2015 – 26 March 2016
Succeeded by
Chris Eubank Jr.