Chris Eubank Jr told a London press conference today that he held back in the final few rounds of his bout with Nick Blackwell for fear that his opponent would suffer a permanent injury.
On the advice of his father, Eubank Jr toned down the ferocity and number of his punches and aimed for the body rather than the head in the closing rounds.
I had spared my uppercuts. I thought this guy is hurt. I worked it down a notch. I was playing.
I’d won the fight, so I thought let’s put on a little bit of a show because people are still watching. I wasn’t throwing as many punches.
Blackwell collapsed after the fight and is now in a coma. His family have confirmed that his condition is 'not deteriorating'.
Peter Hamlyn, the neurosurgeon who operated on Michael Watson has predicted that Blackwell will emerge from the coma with very little damage. He did, however, say that it was very unlikely he would box again.
Eubank Jr added that he would not be celebrating the victory until Blackwell made a full recovery.
Also, Nick was very brave - a true warrior - and I have sent him a text saying so.
It was in fighting on that my father can see things from the corner which a boxer can't see in the heat of the fight.
Chris Eubank Sr, the boxer in the corner on the infamous night when Michael Watson suffered his life-changing brain injury, said that he had been banging on the canvas urging the referee Victor Laughlin to stop the fight.
Eubank Sr could be heard on the TV saying that his opponent was getting hurt.
If he (the referee) doesn’t stop it, and you keep beating him like this … he’s getting hurt.
The fight was eventually stopped after ten rounds due to swelling in the eye of Blackwell.