Nick Blackwell and Chris Eubank Jr. collide at The SSE Arena, Wembley

Trowbridge star Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell will defend his British middleweight championship against number one-ranked contender Chris Eubank Jr. on March 26 at The SSE Arena, Wembley, LIVE on Channel 5.

The explosive clash between world-class middleweights Blackwell and Eubank Jr. headlines a stacked fight card which also features heavyweight sensation Hughie Lewis Fury in a scheduled 12-round contest against a world-ranked opponent.

Twenty-five-year-old Blackwell, 19-3-1 (8 KOs) and currently one of the most exciting fighters in the country, won the British middleweight title in May 2015 with a stunning seventh-round stoppage of John Ryder at a sold-out O2 Arena, live on Sky Sports Box Office. He then defended it twice before the year was out, knocking out Damon Jones with a single right hand in Derby and outpointing Jack Arnfield in an all-out war in Bristol, and now has his sights set on claiming the belt outright. To do so, all he needs is one more successful defence.

Eubank Jr., meanwhile, clearly represents the stiffest test of Blackwell’s thrilling British title reign. He is a year older than the champion at 26 and is the former interim WBA world middleweight titleholder.

Recent stoppage wins over Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan, Tony Jeter and Dmitry Chudinov have seen Eubank Jr. in dynamic, hard-hitting form, and his narrow points defeat to world champion Billy Joe Saunders in November 2014, his sole career loss, has brought him on leaps and bounds. He is now, at 21-1 (16 KOs), coming into his prime and eager to get his hands on a British title which means so much to the Eubank family.

Two physical beasts of the middleweight division, the pairing of Blackwell and Eubank at The SSE Arena, highly-anticipated for many months now, is expected to produce both a ‘Fight of the Year’ contender and a future world champion. It promises to be something very special.

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British middleweight champion Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell is impressed Chris Eubank Jr., his next challenger, has decided to step up and fight him on March 26 at The SSE Arena, Wembley, and has urged him to play his part in one of the most thrilling and explosive encounters of 2016.

A match-up between Blackwell and Eubank Jr. has been mooted for a while, and has twice previously been ordered by the British Boxing Board of Control, but both times Blackwell was left disappointed when Eubank Jr. decided to look elsewhere. Now, though, with the fight finally on – and tickets set to go on sale this Thursday (February 18) at 10 am – Blackwell is delighted to have cornered a man he feels has been desperate to avoid him.

“I know this isn’t a fight Chris has wanted and I know he wouldn’t be fighting me if I wasn’t British champion and he wasn’t the number one contender,” said Blackwell.

“But we (Hennessy Sports) won the purse bids, we’ve got him, and, having twice swerved me in the past, I’m pleased Chris has now decided to do the honourable thing and try to set the record straight. I think it must have been weighing quite heavily on his mind – ducking me before – and he obviously feels he needs to do right thing this time around, if only to save a bit of face and restore his reputation.

“Now it’s finally on, I look forward to going to war with him. Our styles should make for a classic. I refuse to take a step back – I feel I’m fitter and stronger than any middleweight in the country – and Eubank Jr. fancies himself as a bit of a brawler, too. He likes to fight up close and he tries to look for the knockout. But he knows, having sparred me in the past, I’m not going anywhere on March 26. I just hope this time he can keep up with me for a few more rounds.”

*** Tickets for the hotly-anticipated British middleweight title blockbuster between Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell and Chris Eubank Jr. go on sale this coming Thursday (February 18) at 10 am.

Tickets 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 ***