Chris Eubank Jr left no room for doubt today in London, busting up and eventually stopping a game and durable but outclassed Nick Blackwell in the 10th round, winning the British middleweight title as Wembley's SSE Arena.
Eubank (22-1, 17 KO) started fast, and was able to land uppercuts at will through much of the fight, bloodying Blackwell's nose early. Over the course of the fight, he also punched Blackwell's left eye shut, forming a hematoma, which led referee Victor Loughlin to halt the bout in the 10th round for the doctor to take a look. The doctor recommended the stoppage, and the fight was over at 2:21 of that round.
It was a largely impressive performance for the 26-year-old second generation star, who battered Blackwell (19-4-1, 8 KO) throughout the fight, scoring what was easily the best win of his pro career to date. His uppercuts just couldn't miss, and that was where most of the damage came from. It was a gutsy performance from Blackwell, but he took a lot of hard shots, and was never really in the fight, though it was certainly not for a lack of effort.
Eubank argued during and after the fight with Billy Joe Saunders, who was seated ringside along with Tyson Fury and had been part of Blackwell's entourage, holding up the British belt in Chris Eubank Sr's fight prior to the introductions. A rematch between those two later this year would make a lot of sense, but Saunders first has to deal with Max Bursak on April 30.
NOTE: During the writing of this recap, Blackwell collapsed in the ring post-fight and was given oxygen. We'll have more as that develops, which hopefully will just be to say that he's doing OK.