Boxer Nick Blackwell was rushed to the hospital following his loss to Chris Eubank Jr. on March 26, allegedly suffering a bleed on the brain. He was placed in a medically-induced coma but is now coherent.
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Blackwell No Longer in Coma
Monday, April 4
MailOnline Sport reported that "Blackwell has woken from his induced coma."
Blackwell's Family Issues Statement
Monday, March 28
Per BBC 5 live Sport, the statement read:
We would like to thank the public for their many messages of support for Nick, they are much appreciated. No official statements have been made either by ourselves or the hospital. We would like to clarify that, given the unsubstantiated rumours and statements in the media, we would like privacy while Nick receives treatment - and any statements will be released only by the family or the promoters Hennessy Sports.
A family spokesman also told BBC Sport Blackwell is "not deteriorating" and may be brought around on Tuesday.
Blackwell Currently Placed in Induced Coma
Sunday, March 27
A report from BBC Sport revealed Blackwell was "taken from the ring on a stretcher" following Saturday's fight, and doctors have since put him in an induced coma.
The Daily Telegraph’s Gareth A. Davies said Blackwell, who lost his British middleweight title on the night, collapsed and was given oxygen in the ring after the result was officially announced; referee Victor Loughlin stopped the fight on the advice of the ringside doctor in the 10th round.
As Davies noted, according to British Boxing Board of Control’s general secretary Robert Smith, the 25-year-old "immediately received a scan in hospital, where it was discovered that he had suffered a small bleed, and medical experts were taking full care of him and would make a decision on whether to operate."
Eubank Sr. Cautioned Son to Avoid the Head
Sunday, March 27
Footage later emerged to show that Chris Eubank Sr.—standing in the corner of his son—advised Eubank Jr. to stop targeting Blackwell's head for fear of inflicting serious damage:
Chris Eubank Snr may have saved Nick Blackwell's life with these words.— Despa Robinson (@DespaStayFresh) March 27, 2016
Shows you how dangerous boxing can be.https://t.co/EaZl6v0jJa
Per Eurosport's Alex Chick, he said:
The next time you throw a flurry like that, if the referee doesn’t stop it then I don’t know what to tell you. I will tell you this, if he doesn’t stop it and we keep on beating him like this he’s getting hurt. Why hasn’t the referee stopped the fight? I don’t get why. So maybe you shouldn’t leave it to the referee. You’re not going to take him out to the face so take him out to the body.
Eubank Jr. took to social media to pay tribute to Blackwell’s efforts in the ring, wishing him well in his recuperation:
@nickblackwell02 You put up a great fight tonight. Proved yourself a true warrior, wish you a quick recovery & a speedy return 2 the ring 👊🏽— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) March 27, 2016
Referee Under the Spotlight Following Blackwell vs. Eubank Jr. Fight
After the fight, the new champion suggested he felt Loughlin could have called the fight off sooner. "I was hitting him with some big shots and the referee saw fit to let the fight go on," said Eubank Jr., per Davies. "Looking back now, maybe he should have stopped it earlier."
However, British fighter Tony Bellew denied any party was to blame for the injuries suffered, suggesting the referee did his job properly:
See people calling the ref! That's wrong.. Victor Loughlin is the best referee in the country for me followed by Steve Gray! This is BOXING😔— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) March 27, 2016
The bout was a brutal contest, with Eubank Jr. landing a lot of clean shots on the former champion, who continued to battle on. Blackwell’s eye swelled nastily as a result, with his opponent able to evade his shots and tag him at will.
Blackwell won the middleweight title against John Ryder in May 2015, defending it on two occasions before his loss to Eubank Jr. His career record now stands at 19 wins, four losses and one draw from 24 professional fights.