LONDON – Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell has hit back at Chris Eubank for labelling him ‘bland’ and pouring scorn on his reign as British middleweight champion.
Earlier this week Eubank Jr. claimed Blackwell’s tenure as British champion didn’t do the famous Lonsdale belt justice, but Blackwell, who defends his belt for the third time against Eubank Jr. on March 26 at The SSE Arena, Wembley, finds this laughable.
“He’s talking nonsense as always,” said Blackwell. “I don’t play much attention to him. He just wants people talking about him and, to do that, he’ll say the most stupid stuff possible.
“If we’re talking about doing the British title a disservice, how could anybody possibly look up to Chris Eubank Jr? He’s the furthest thing from a role model you can get. People talk about him in boxing but not for the right reasons. They never have anything good to say about him. You never hear someone say, ‘Oh, yeah, he’s a decent guy.’
“If some young kid was getting into boxing and the first boxer they came across was Chris Eubank Jr., they’d be put off the sport for life. They’d think every boxer was as arrogant, big-headed and unlikeable as him.
“If he was to ever get lucky enough to win a British title – and I don’t think he ever will – it will be a sad day.”
Though both middleweights insist they hold nothing against the other – that it’s not personal – tensions are clearly running high and Blackwell’s main issue with Eubank Jr. stems from a belief he’s putting on an act.
“He’s always trying to be someone he’s not,” said Blackwell. “He could actually be a nice kid if he cut the apron strings and was himself a bit more. But he’s told what to say by his father and he’s always in performance mode. There’s nothing real about him.
“He’s taking bad advice from people. They all think they’ve got the game sussed but the facts don’t back it up. He’s not popular, he can’t sell tickets and people only ever talk about him negatively. That’s okay if you’re going to be Floyd Mayweather, but he’s not. He comfortably lost to Billy Joe Saunders.
“He still thinks he beat Billy Joe Saunders, too. He’s deluded. Billy Joe boxed his head off for the first six or seven rounds, won every one of them, and then his fitness let him down. If he’d been fitter, he’d have won every round.
“You’d think a defeat like that would make Eubank Jr. a bit more humble and realise he’s nothing special, but it doesn’t seem to have worked.”
The British champion added: “I never take a fight personally. I don’t particularly like Eubank Jr. or his attitude, but I don’t take any of his nonsense personally. He doesn’t offend me or hurt me in any way. I just don’t agree with the way he goes about things.
“Hate is a strong word and I don’t know enough about the real Chris Eubank Jr. to say I hate him. All I have to go on is a persona he and his father have created. He’s a fake.
“When we fight we’ll find out who the real Chris Eubank Jr. is. He won’t have his father doing the talking for him, and he won’t have him doing the fighting for him, either. It will just be me and him in there.
“He might say I’m a bland fighter and say this is going to be an easy fight – and I’m sure he’s looking past me – but deep down he knows this is going to be the toughest fight of his life. We’ll see what sort of fighter and man he really is on March 26.”
*** Tickets for the British middleweight title blockbuster between Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell and Chris Eubank Jr. 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 ***