This afternoon at 5:30 pm EST on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, Nick Blackwell defends the British middleweight title against Chris Eubank Jr at London's Wembley Arena, and we'll have live round-by-round coverage of the fight.
Blackwell (19-3-1, 8 KO) is the underdog despite being the defending titleholder, as Eubank (21-1, 16 KO) has the more famous name and bloodlines. But it's not hard to see this fight perhaps being more competitive than the oddsmakers imagine. Blackwell, 25, was plenty competitive against Billy Joe Saunders when those two met back in 2012, as well as very competitive against Max Bursak in a 2013 loss on the road in Ukraine. Eubank, 26, really hasn't proven any more thus far in his career than Blackwell has -- Eubank's signature fight is also a close loss to Saunders, after loss -- and his being favored is a reflection of the eye test more than anything. But we'll see. At least three BLH staffers -- myself, Kyle, and Paul -- see real potential for an upset here.
In the co-feature, heavyweight prospect Hughie Fury (18-0, 10 KO) will face veteran Dominick Guinn (35-10-1, 24 KO) in a fight scheduled for 10 rounds.
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Chris Eubank Jr def. Nick Blackwell by TKO (2:21 of round 10)
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ROUND BY ROUND
NICK BLACKWELL vs CHRIS EUBANK JR
Round 1: Eubank's first move is a, uh, waistlock attempt. Then another. Now flicking his jab out. Eubank tries to strike quickly with a right uppercut, blocked. Eubank with a good body shot. Blackwell shoots a jab, but Eubank's is consistent early on. Another body shot. Eubank throwing the uppercuts, not quite getting through but definitely dangerous. There's one that really gets through, and Blackwell has to talk about it. Eubank with good uppercuts again. Blackwell with a little left hand, now he's moving forward. Blackwell gets Eubank in the corner and throws a right hand, Eubank comes out of it with a series of punches. Even if nothing lands, it's loud and backs Blackwell down again. Eubank walks himself back to the same corner. Left uppercut, right hand behind it from Eubank. Blackwell takes it and throws back. Eubank 10-9
Round 2: Eubank with a straight right, then a right uppercut after. He's definitely throwing flashy combinations. Eubank again walks himself into a corner and Blackwell fires away, landing a shot or two. Blackwell doing better this round, or Eubank doing much worse. Or both. Blackwell walking Eubank down now, and snaps his head back with a jab. Eubank back to the body, then a hard uppercut gets through again. Both guys landing this round, closer for sure. Blackwell 10-9, 19-19
Round 3: Eubank just repeatedly walking himself into corners. But he's firing back with those uppercuts, and now we've got a quick trade! Blackwell starting to stick his jab out a bit more this round. Eubank misses a home run left hook. Eubank with a left and a right. His punch variety is really outstanding, not to mention just plain entertaining. Blackwell's jab cuts off Eubank's right hand. Blackwell with a little shot, Eubank right back on him, then follows up with another quick shot. Fun fight so far. Eubank 10-9, 29-28
Round 4: Two more hard uppercuts from Eubank to start the fourth, and he may have Blackwell a bit hurt this time. Blackwell leaning on the ropes, but comes right back off and presses forward. Still, those uppercuts are doing damage. More work from Eubank. Eubank back to the body again, nice work there. Eubank not just having his way here, but he is having his way for the most part, and the talent difference is clear so far. Blackwell is tough and in this fight, but he's getting busted up, bloodied, and beaten to the punch. It's been impressive this round. Eubank 10-9, 39-37
Round 5: Blackwell catches Eubank with a right early here, but Eubank turns it around and does more damage, including yet another right uppercut getting through. Blackwell gets Eubank to a corner again, and throws, but Eubank slips and shimmies, showboating while under pressure. Eubank back to center ring and letting both hands fly, body and head, uppercuts scoring again. Blackwell trying to fight off the ropes. Eubank now backs off and points at Saunders and Fury. He gets caught with a right hand for it. Blackwell coming on strong after that. Downright dumb move by Eubank, but oh well. I enjoy it. Eubank 10-9, 49-46
Round 6: Let's see if Blackwell can grasp the momentum from late in that round. Eubank back to the jab to start this round, but eats a right hand from Blackwell, who is also jabbing a bit. Another right hand from Blackwell. Another uppercut from Eubank, and he's back to work now. Eubank again backs himself into a corner. Blackwell opens up, Eubank ties him up. Eubank pushing a jab out and moving at distance this round. Blackwell blocking the uppercuts. Eubank back to the body, then an uppercut that gets through again, and another one snaps Blackwell's head back. Two more in the closing seconds. Eubank 10-9, 59-55
Round 7: If Nick Blackwell is going to make a serious run at this win, it has to start now. Eubank coming out VERY fast and landing vicious uppercuts and hooks, plus wide rights. Eubank just SMASHING Blackwell to start the round! Blackwell may have a broken nose. Blackwell, somehow, finds something in the tank to make another charge. Unreal. Eubank back with another burst of hard shots, body and uppercut again. Eubank throwing shots and posturing a bit, but Blackwell just won't stop coming forward. Eubank 10-9, 69-64
Round 8: Blackwell just won't go away. All evidence suggests he probably should, but he won't. Eubank with another huge flurry about a minute into the round, Blackwell blocking shots, but it's risky for Blackwell turtled up in the corner like that. Eubank talking to the crowd again. Blackwell with slapping hooks, gets Eubank in the corner again, and Eubank holds. Eubank fighting in bursts as this wears on. Considering not a lot of that early flurry really landed, Blackwell's hard charge the rest of the round might have won him the round. Round appears to end about 15 seconds early. Blackwell 10-9, Eubank 78-74
Round 9: Eubank back to his jab in the first minute and change here, staying out of Blackwell's wheelhouse. Not for lack of effort from Blackwell, either. Eubank jabbing a bit, throws another uppercut. Chris Sr has urged Jr to go to the body for the stoppage, but Jr just isn't doing it, or at least not with any real intent. Eubank misses another wild hook, which he's done a few times. Blackwell's left eye swelling shut. His nose is a mess. Eubank 10-9, 88-83
Round 10: Eubank throwing to the body, not landing. Blackwell chops back with a right hand. Eubank back on the attack, jabbing and throwing the uppercut. Blackwell with another short right hand. His face is a wreck, developing a hematoma over his left eye. The fight is stopped on doctor's advice when the referee has him look at the eye. Eubank TKO-10