By Terence Dooley
Hennessy Sports have confirmed that Nick Blackwell’s British middleweight title defence against Chris Eubank Jr. will take place at Wembley’s SSE Arena on March 26 and will be shown on Channel 5 here in the U.K. Hughie Fury will provide chief support in a 12-round contest against a ‘world-ranked’ opponent.
Blackwell (19-3-1, 8 KOs) reignited his career last year by winning the title at the third time of asking courtesy of a seventh-round TKO over John Ryder in May. Back-to-back wins over Damon Jones (W TKO 6) and Jack Arnfield (W12) added two notches to the belt, a win over Eubank means it would be his to keep.
The 25-year-old looks a fighter reborn under current coach Gary Lockett, who told me that the best is yet to come during a recent interview with Boxing Monthly magazine.
“His fitness is something I’ve never seen before,” he said. “He never seems to get tired. I once saw him spar 16 or 17 rounds and he was ready for more, and they were tough rounds. Nick’s got talent as well as toughness. We’ll see just how good he is in the next few fights.”
The fight against Eubank will certainly test both his fitness and fighting credentials. Still, the upset win over Ryder galvanised Blackwell and his confidence is sky high at the moment. If Eubank brings his best this could be one to remember for British boxing fans.
Eubank (21-1, 16KOs) lost his ‘0’ after a close defeat to Billy Joe Saunders in November 2014. The 26-year-old has held the WBA interim world middleweight title (W TKO 12 over Dmitry Chudinov last February) and pushed current WBO holder Saunders very close in the second half of their bout.
Recent wins over Tony Jeter (W TKO 2) and Spike O'Sullivan (W RTD 7) have kept the 26-year-old in title contention, adding the British title to his collection means he will have achieved something that his famous world title winning father did not achieve in the sport by bringing home the famous Lonsdale belt.
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