Nick Blackwell is becoming more and more of a household name with every fight he has. His records stands at eighteen wins, one draw and three defeats, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. He is the current British middleweight champion, after winning the belt with a seventh round stoppage of hot prospect John Ryder. Since then, he has defended his title in emphatic style, stopping Damon Jones in the sixth with a huge shot on national TV.
Nick has been speaking to InstantBoxing.com, and here is what he had to say:
Why did you first get into boxing?
I always wanted to be a boxer but I was never allowed because my Mum wouldn’t let me. As soon as my Mum and Dad broke up I started boxing just to keep fit really.
What are your first memories of boxing?
Getting beat up! I used to get absolutely smashed up but I loved it.
Do you have any particular highlights from your amateur career?
Yes but I did unlicensed fights instead of amateurs. I had two fights in the same night against two lads that were heavier than me. The first guy was half a stone heavier and the second guy was two and a half stone heavier. I was a sixteen year old kid fighting fully grown men, but it was quite good because I knocked both of them out. I loved it.
What has been the toughest fight you’ve had so far in your career, professional or unlicensed?
You know what the toughest fight that I have probably had was the [Sergey] Khomitsky fight mentally. Things just didn’t go right in camp for me and things didn’t go right in the changing rooms. It wasn’t that the kid was the best fighter that I ever fought, it was just mentality it was difficult because I had a tough time leading up to the fight.
Your last knock out against Damon Jones was phenomenal, where does that rank in the highlights of your career?
Yeah it was good but I didn’t feel great. I didn’t feel great going into the fight before that either. It was great to knock somebody out because I’m not renowned for being a big puncher but I know that in sparring I know I can hit but I haven’t put that in the ring. It was good to get John Ryder out and then this lad because it shows that I am a puncher as well.
What was it like to go on a Sky Sports Pay-Per-View and beat John Ryder when not many people in the arena expected you to do so?
You know what I always knew that I was going to beat John Ryder. It was a good John Ryder that night and a bad Nick Blackwell so if he was anything decent he should have beat me that night. They were all saying it was down to weight problems but when he was on the scales he looked healthy, he wasn’t struggling to make the weight. It was wicked being in the 02 in front of so many people. To then defend my British title on Channel Five was even better. Hopefully more to come for me.
Are you benefiting a lot more now that you have exposure on various different TV channels because a lot of people are seeing you fight?
Yes definitely. A lot of people are now mentioning my name and talking about me. I always used to get negatives but now I am hearing more positives from people. People were saying that Nick Blackwell was a decent journeyman and all that but you know what, I’m glad I have the losses that I have had. I haven’t been rapped in cotton wool like some other fighters have and then when they get to the big fight they lose. It’s got my name out there and it’s only going to be good for me for the future.
How many times will you be looking to defend your British title before you begin to step up in levels?
I want to win the belt outright. I am 24 so I still have time on my side and I have a lot to learn. I am not ready for world level yet and I want to stay at British. The plans to win this British title outright and then move on from there.
Do you feel you’re an underrated fighter and deserve more credit for what you have achieved so far?
Not really, I don’t pay too much attention to peoples opinions. I am just doing my thing and enjoying it, as soon as I stop enjoying it then that’s when I will stop fighting. Look at Floyd Mayweather, he is 49-0 and people still slate him. You will never get everyone saying good things about you. I think I am underrated because I didn’t have a big amateur background and I have a few losses on my record but it doesn’t bother me.
The losses you have had in your career so far have come against world level fighters such a Billy Joe Saunders; did you benefit from them experiences?
Yes definitely. The amateur game is completely different to the professional game and being in positions where you have cuts or you’ve been hurt is great experience. Going in there and knocking people down every fight and then stepping up to the big fight isn’t good. For a 24 year old I have a lot of experience compared to those guys who came throughout the amateurs and then turned pro and have 15-20 fights without losing. I think I am very experienced for a 24 year old. Some of these amateurs turn pro a lot older than me.
Would you travel to get some big fights?
Yes of course. I will fight anywhere as long as it makes sense for me. I just generally like fighting and I will train hard for every fight. I love the build up and all the tension, I just love fighting really.
What is the dream for you as a fighter?
The dream is to win a world title and be financially secure enough to live a comfortable life. I don’t want to be punched in the face for the rest of my life.
Quick fire round
Favourite fighter growing up: Roy Jones Jnr
Favourite glove type: Winning
Best ever round you’ve been in: John Ryder stoppage round
Best ever round you’ve seen: Hagler vs. Hearns
Best ever fight: Hagler vs. Hearns
First fight you went to: A Billy Joe Saunders fight
First memory of boxing: Watching Mike Tyson
Best punch your ever received: Khomitsky caught me with a big uppercut
Craziest thing you’ve seen in boxing: Some kid lost and knocked out the referee the other day!
Funniest personal moment in boxing: It is when my changing room and my mates come in and have banter. Before a fight everyone thinks its mental because we just take the piss out of each other when we are supposed to be being serious. Even in training with Gary Lockett we just mess about. That’s how I like it I don’t like it being too serious.
Best fight you’ve seen live: Carl Froch vs. George Groves
By Luke Madeira, follow Luke on twitter @lukemadeira15