Boxing: Nick Blackwell in Medically Induced Coma After Loss to Chris Eubank Jr.

By Mike Sloan Mar 28, 2016
Former British middleweight champion Nick Blackwell is currently in a medically induced coma after absorbing a beating at the hands of Chris Eubank Jr. on Saturday night in London.

The bout was action-packed, but Eubank Jr. (22-1, 17 KOs) was the more dominant force and began pounding on the defending champion to the head and body. As the rounds wore on, it became evident that Blackwell was too tough to be stopped with punches to the head, and he continued to fight on.

Referee Victor Loughlin allowed the fight to continue, though many who observed the match felt it could have been stopped sooner. Blackwell had a grotesque hematoma above his left eye and was bleeding from the nose when Loughlin finally stopped it at 2:21 of round 10.

Chris Eubank Sr. climbed into the ring between rounds eight and nine and implored his son to attack his foe’s body instead of the head. Perhaps recalling the night in 1991 where he sent Michael Watson to the hospital -- Watson was in a coma for 40 days after the fight -- the elder Eubank didn’t want the same fate to fall upon Blackwell.

“The next time you throw a flurry like that, if the referee doesn't stop it, then I don’t know what to tell you,” Eubank was heard telling his son between rounds. “I will tell you this: if he doesn't stop it and we keep on beating him like this, he’s getting hurt. Why hasn’t the referee stopped the fight? I don’t get why.

“Maybe you shouldn’t leave it to the referee,” he added to Eubank Jr. “But you’re not going to take him out to the face. You’re going to take him out to the body.”

Eubank pounded on the canvas during the final two rounds, trying force Loughlin to stop the bout. Though Eubank’s instruction for his son to solely attack the body may have saved Blackwell’s life, the former champion collapsed in his corner after the bout and was taken out of the ring on a stretcher. It was later reported that Blackwell suffered bleeding on the brain and was placed in a medically induced coma, where he currently remains, though he’s reportedly in stable condition.

Earlier on Monday, fellow boxer and Blackwell family friend Billy Joe Saunders Tweeted out positive news: “Spoke to Nick’s Dad looking good. He will be back to us in no time. Keep him in half thoughts and prayers. God bless him and you all.”

It has been reported that Blackwell will not need surgery and there hasn’t been any further swelling on his brain. However, no official statements have been made by the hospital or the Blackwell family.


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