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10th Feb 2018

Chris Eubank comes under fire for reference to Nick Blackwell

"It has no place in boxing!"

Darragh Murphy

While there is a place for intimidation in boxing, the reaction to Chris Eubank’s comments about his son’s upcoming clash with George Groves is entirely understandable.

Chris Eubank Jr. will meet Groves in the World Boxing Super Series super-middleweight semi-final next week and Eubank Sr. has made few fans with his reference to Nick Blackwell in the build-up.

Blackwell was forced to retire from boxing at the age of 25 due to a serious head injury picked up in defeat to Eubank Jr. in 2016.

He was placed in a medically-induced coma at the time and was made aware that fighting would no longer be in his future after he sustained a worrying injury in a subsequent, ill-advised sparring session.

Blackwell’s case is a reminder of the dangers of boxing but Eubank Sr. has used it as something of a threat ahead of his son’s fight with Groves next weekend.

The 51-year-old claimed he is simply looking out for Groves’ well-being with his warning, with Eubank Sr. referencing footage of Tyson Fury, who was visibly shook after watching Blackwell be taken from the ring to the hospital two years ago.

That prompted a couple of furious responses from Fury, who was disgusted that Eubank Sr. would use the career-ending injury to Blackwell as an example of the power possessed by Eubank Jr.

Eubank Sr. has never shied away from the headlines and he will be well aware of the adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

His comments could well inspire fight fans to tune in with the hope of seeing Eubank Jr. defeated by Groves and that won’t bother Eubank Sr. whatsoever because the more eyes on his fighter, the better.

BoxNation boss Frank Warren has issued a scathing response to the divisive comments from th elder of the Eubanks, suggesting that he could receive some form of punishment.

Writing in his Daily Star column, Warren said:

“Eubank Sr. has the audacity to claim he is looking out for Groves by using his son’s fight with Blackwell as a reason why the referee next Saturday needs to be ‘alert’ to the dangers he possesses.

“How disrespectful is that to Blackwell and his family after what they’ve been through?

“And how disrespectful is it to Groves, who has a young family that doesn’t need to be worried by such talk?

“It has no place in boxing and the British Boxing Board of Control have reprimanded people for much less.”