British middleweight champion Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell has scoffed in the face of Chris Eubank Jr.’s claims he’s ‘bland’ and ‘boring’ and promised to take the fight to him when they meet on Saturday night (March 26) at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
Blackwell and Eubank Jr. have become entangled in a war of words since their highly-anticipated fight was announced and the champion from Trowbridge is keen to expose the challenger’s true colours this weekend.
“Boring? I think it’s boring watching Chris Eubank Jr. is beat up opponents who are basically punch bags time and time again,” says Blackwell. “You might as well go to your local boxing gym and watch someone hit the heavy bag for a few rounds.
“That’s all Eubank Jr. brought to the table until Billy Joe Saunders schooled him. How is that exciting? How can he claim to be entertaining? He’s only had one or two proper fights in his whole pro career. I’ve had more interesting spars than he’s had fights.
“I’ve no idea how he can say I’m boring. I might not be the most technical fighter in the world, but I turn up and fight. I stand toe-to-toe and give as good as I get. I don’t take a step back from anyone. He’ll be the one trying to escape and run away on Saturday night.”
Eubank Jr., of course, believes he will meet Blackwell punch for punch and that his power – and, specifically, his uppercut – will separate the champion from his title within the scheduled distance. It’s a forecast Blackwell is unable to take seriously.
“Let him think he’s the bigger puncher,” he says. “When he gets in there with me and is breathing out of his arse and getting hit flush by me, he’ll realise I hit a lot harder than my record might suggest. He won’t want to be taking it on the chin from me in ten-ounce gloves. No chance.
“I’ve been hit by some big punchers and I know I’m tough.
‘Spike’ O’Sullivan is a fairly big puncher but he doesn’t punch in combination very much and he’s not as fast as me. He still had Eubank Jr. going at one stage. He had him hurt. When Eubank Jr. takes some clean shots from me, we’ll see what happens.
“Look at who I have fought and look at who he has fought. I’ve fought proper fighters. He has fought people who were dragged off the streets and persuaded to put on a pair of gloves and fight him.
“Well, on Saturday night he’s facing a proper fighter again. The last time he did that he got his arse kicked by Billy Joe Saunders.”
Eubank on Blackwell: “It’s exactly the same as O’Sullivan – be careful what you wish for”
Chris Eubank Jr. says British middleweight champion Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell will go the same way as his last opponent, Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, when the pair meet on March 26 at The SSE Arena, Wembley.
Three months ago Eubank Jr. settled a bitter feud with O’Sullivan by stopping the Irishman in seven rounds, and next weekend, live on Channel 5, he looks to do the same to Blackwell, a man who has claimed Eubank Jr. has been avoiding him for much of his career.
“It’s laughable for him to say I’ve been avoiding him,” said Eubank Jr., 21-1 (16 KOs). “He’s a boring guy. He has to say something to try and get some attention. His stories about me avoiding him are fantasy. He wants to get under my skin by saying I’m scared and have been dodging him.
“The truth is, every single middleweight in Britain has at some point said on Twitter that they’d love to fight Chris Eubank Jr. They’ve said it to their friends and to their promoter. I get tweets from fighters all the time. I guess I’ve ducked every fighter in Britain then. It doesn’t make any sense.
“It’s exactly the same as O’Sullivan – be careful what you wish for. Blackwell and O’Sullivan are in the same situation. They talk it up, they know they’re going to get paid nicely and that is genuinely the only reason why they want these fights. They know they are not on my level. They just want a payday. Blackwell will get a payday, but he’ll also get beaten.
“A fight between Blackwell and O’Sullivan would be close. I couldn’t say who would win. They both have different styles but are one dimensional, in my opinion. It wouldn’t be a very exciting fight.”
Eubank Jr.’s win over O’Sullivan marked his third stoppage victory of 2015 and showcased the Brighton man at his most aggressive and potent.
“I did everything I needed to do,” he recalled. “I went in there, made a statement and punished him for the disrespect he had shown me in the lead up to the fight. I boxed him into submission and made him quit. I made him give up. That’s the most dishonourable thing you can do in boxing really. He gave up when he could have continued.
“A knockout is lovely, but to see someone really and truly understand that there is no way they can win is a nice feeling as well. He realised he was being hurt, outboxed, outfought, humiliated and was out of his depth. He’s a strong guy and all it takes is one punch, but for him to think that he didn’t even have that chance – a puncher’s chance – says a lot. He knew there was no way he could win. That was very satisfying.”
Blackwell hits back at Chris Eubank
Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell has hit back at Chris Eubank for labelling him ‘bland’ and pouring scorn on his reign as British middleweight champion.
Earlier this week Eubank Jr. claimed Blackwell’s tenure as British champion didn’t do the famous Lonsdale belt justice, but Blackwell, who defends his belt for the third time against Eubank Jr. on March 26 at The SSE Arena, Wembley, finds this laughable.
“He’s talking nonsense as always,” said Blackwell. “I don’t play much attention to him. He just wants people talking about him and, to do that, he’ll say the most stupid stuff possible.
“If we’re talking about doing the British title a disservice, how could anybody possibly look up to Chris Eubank Jr? He’s the furthest thing from a role model you can get. People talk about him in boxing but not for the right reasons. They never have anything good to say about him. You never hear someone say, ‘Oh, yeah, he’s a decent guy.’
“If some young kid was getting into boxing and the first boxer they came across was Chris Eubank Jr., they’d be put off the sport for life. They’d think every boxer was as arrogant, big-headed and unlikeable as him.
“If he was to ever get lucky enough to win a British title – and I don’t think he ever will – it will be a sad day.”
Though both middleweights insist they hold nothing against the other – that it’s not personal – tensions are clearly running high and Blackwell’s main issue with Eubank Jr. stems from a belief he’s putting on an act.
“He’s always trying to be someone he’s not,” said Blackwell. “He could actually be a nice kid if he cut the apron strings and was himself a bit more. But he’s told what to say by his father and he’s always in performance mode. There’s nothing real about him.
“He’s taking bad advice from people. They all think they’ve got the game sussed but the facts don’t back it up. He’s not popular, he can’t sell tickets and people only ever talk about him negatively. That’s okay if you’re going to be Floyd Mayweather, but he’s not. He comfortably lost to Billy Joe Saunders.
“He still thinks he beat Billy Joe Saunders, too. He’s deluded. Billy Joe boxed his head off for the first six or seven rounds, won every one of them, and then his fitness let him down. If he’d been fitter, he’d have won every round.
“You’d think a defeat like that would make Eubank Jr. a bit more humble and realise he’s nothing special, but it doesn’t seem to have worked.”
The British champion added: “I never take a fight personally. I don’t particularly like Eubank Jr. or his attitude, but I don’t take any of his nonsense personally. He doesn’t offend me or hurt me in any way. I just don’t agree with the way he goes about things.
“Hate is a strong word and I don’t know enough about the real Chris Eubank Jr. to say I hate him. All I have to go on is a persona he and his father have created. He’s a fake.
“When we fight we’ll find out who the real Chris Eubank Jr. is. He won’t have his father doing the talking for him, and he won’t have him doing the fighting for him, either. It will just be me and him in there.
“He might say I’m a bland fighter and say this is going to be an easy fight – and I’m sure he’s looking past me – but deep down he knows this is going to be the toughest fight of his life. We’ll see what sort of fighter and man he really is on March 26.”
Eubank vs Blackwell: Groves expects a war
Super-middleweight star ‘Saint’ George Groves has revealed his admiration for British middleweight champion Nick Blackwell and predicted an explosive, back-and-forth encounter when ‘Bang Bang’ meets Chris Eubank Jr. on March 26 at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live on Channel 5.
Groves and Blackwell have sparred many rounds together in the last three weeks and the world-class super-middleweight came away from those sessions with nothing but the utmost respect for the warrior from Trowbridge.
“I’ve always been impressed by Blackwell when watching him fight,” Groves said. “He’s a fighter who doesn’t seem afraid of anything; a lot of fighters say they’ll fight anyone, but he really means it. He loves a challenge.
“He boxed on one of my undercards against Billy Joe Saunders, pushed him really close, and I’ve kept an eye on him ever since. But it was nice to finally do some sparring with him because I’d heard a lot about his sparring sessions over the years – he’s got quite the reputation.
“Obviously he’s a fit lad with a great work-rate. He throws loads of punches. And, over the course of three sparring sessions, he showed he was a very good fighter. He punches well inside, he finds angles that don’t seem to be there, and he is happy to put it on you from the word ‘go’. He’s a real physical presence in the ring.”
In addition to rounds spent in the company of Blackwell, 27-year-old Groves has also sparred many times with Eubank Jr., which puts him in an ideal position to analyse their highly-anticipated March 26 showdown.
“Eubank Jr. hadn’t had many pro fights when we sparred, so he’s probably a lot better now than he was back then, but he always gave me great work,” said Groves. “He has a great engine, throws punches in bunches and he’s physically and mentally very tough. He takes some breaking. He has sparred everyone, he has sparred bigger guys and he always gives a good account of himself.
“This fight between Blackwell and Eubank Jr. can only be a great fight. It’s fascinating and it’s hard to call.
“You say before every fight that you want to stamp your authority on the fight and go from there, but there could be some real swings and momentum changes throughout the twelve rounds these two share. I don’t see a scenario where one guy gets out in front and then just stays there and dominates. I think both will have their moments.
“They’ve both got enough power to hurt each other and they both possess a work-rate that can break hearts. They’re very fit and athletic lads. It should be an all-action affair for as long as it lasts.”
*** Tickets for the British middleweight title blockbuster between Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell and Chris Eubank Jr. are priced at £35, £50, £75, £175, £200 and £250 for ringside and can be purchased online at ssearena.co.uk and axs.com or by phoning the SSE Arena, Wembley Box Office on 0844 815 0815 ***