Chris Eubank has reiterated his call for the referee to keep a close eye on Saturday’s George Groves v Chris Eubank Jr bout given what happened when the latter fought Nick Blackwell.
Former British middleweight champion Blackwell collapsed at the end of his defeat by Eubank Jr in March 2016, and was found to have suffered a bleed on the skull and put into an induced coma, and subsequently retired from the sport aged 25.
Eubank has been criticised after he last week on Twitter made reference to Blackwell while looking ahead to his son’s World Boxing Super Series semi-final clash with WBA super-middleweight world champion Groves at the Manchester Arena.
But the 51-year-old former middle and super-middleweight world champion says he is “not ashamed of bringing that up”.
Eubank told Press Association Sport: “George is in deep water and Junior is a shark and the referee just needs to be watchful of both men.
“I’ve had to bring this up because of what happened to Nick Blackwell. I am not ashamed of bringing that up. I am not any form of disgrace for bringing it up. It happened to Michael Watson.
“I want to talk about it, because I don’t want it happening, and for it not to happen, the referees only have to do their jobs. And if there is something wrong with that, then I am the bad guy.”
Eubank last week wrote on Twitter about being “protective” of Groves as he highlighted an interview ex-heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury had given to iFL TV about Blackwell.
Fury responded by branding Eubank a “disgrace” for “trying to use the Blackwells situation as a threat” to Groves.
Eubank also tweeted video of an iFL TV interview in which Groves said the way he had been referring to the Eubank Jr v Blackwell fight was “disgusting” and accused him of “trying to manipulate the mindset of people.”
Eubank then tweeted: “My trying2be protective of @StGeorgeGroves gets me negative feed back Im not looking2be liked by pretending Watson & Blackwell didn’t happen. There’s no disgrace in me reminding the refs2be mindfull as it’s genuine. To look at @ChrisEubankJr he seems normal but he’s far from it.”
Michael Watson was left partially disabled after his 1991 fight against Eubank.
Groves was involved in a similarly-tragic bout in November 2016, his defeat of Eduard Gutknecht that left the German with a serious brain injury and unable to walk or talk.