***British middleweight Nick Blackwell woke from an induced coma on Saturday and has been speaking with family and friends, it has been confirmed.
***Nick Blackwell’s family expect the boxer to wake from his induced coma in the next 48 to 72 hours (as of Thursday evening). The vital signs are good and doctors are cautiously optimistic. There are no major issues within the context of his condition.
***Blackwell is still in a critical condition in intensive care but if he remains stable, doctors hope to start reducing his sedatives in the next 24 hours to bring him out of his induced coma.
***“No celebration by Team Eubank has happened and will not happen until Nick makes a full recovery, and I mean full recovery.” Chris Eubank Senior
***When asked about quitting boxing Eubank Junior replied, “Not all all, this is boxing. As fighters, we know the risks. We know that we are risking our health every time we stop in the line. But it’s a risk we’re willing to take because with that risk comes great reward. I will continue my career. I have the British belt and now I want to go for a world title.”
***“Everyone was professional and it was not like my dad’s fight with Michael Watson when there were hold-ups and he didn’t arrive at hospital until hours after the fight. I don’t believe there need to be any changes. All the fighters are looked after medically. It’s just up to the referee and their teams to be responsible with their fighters. That’s the thing and every referee has their own opinion.” Chris Eubank Junior
***“Maybe I’m being flippant, but I only worry about his opponents. I can see the distance in ability between him and his opponents, but nobody will listen to me. They think I’m talking rubbish again and that I speak two languages, English and rubbish, but it’s not, he’s real.” Chris Eubank Senior
A crowdfunding page has been started to raise money for Nick Blackwell. £4,320 has been pledged by the group started by fellow professional Adam Etches.
In a statement the Blackwell family said: “We would like to thank the public for their many messages of support for Nick, they are much appreciated.”
***As of Monday afternoon: Doctors treating Nick Blackwell hope to begin bringing him out of induced coma in the next 24 hours.
***As of Sunday Evening: Robert Smith: “There’s no change from this morning. He’s sedated and staying in overnight. We expect him to be in hospital for some time.”
Late in the fight, Chris Eubank Snr, climbed into the ring between rounds and looked his son directly in the eye. “If the referee doesn’t stop it, I don’t know what to tell you, but I will tell you this, if he doesn’t stop it, and you keep beating him like this, one, he’s getting hurt, two, if it goes to a decision, why hasn’t he stopped the fight? I don’t get why, so maybe you shouldn’t leave it to the referee. Now you’re not going to take him out to the face, you’re going to take him out to the body.” This one act of compassion could yet prove to have saved the life of the gallant & highly like-able champion from Trowbridge.
Surgeons are not planning to operate on Nick Blackwell after he suffered a bleed on the brain following his British middleweight title defeat by Chris Eubank Jr in London on Saturday. The British Board of Boxing Control said it is satisfied with how the bout was handled.
Dr. Peter Hamlyn, who performed five operations on Michael Watson after his near-fatal 1991 clash with Chris Eubank Sr says,“He was being badly beaten from the get-go. He didn’t land more than two neuro-physically significant punches on Eubank, but received dozens and dozens in return. In the seventh round it would have been entirely legitimate to stop it. Eubank was doing a lot of uppercuts and if you look at Blackwell’s head, every time he gets one of those, his head snaps backwards. It’s the acceleration and deceleration that is the damaging part. From my perspective, it wasn’t anywhere near close in terms of what each boxer was receiving neurologically. The power and quality and the number of punches Eubank was landing on Blackwell was on a whole different scale to what he was receiving. Blackwell had no chance of winning. What was he going on for? These guys are the best at hitting people, and also the best at not being rendered unconscious. If Blackwell had been knocked unconscious, which many of Eubank’s blows would have done to other people, he would have been out of there and saved. Because he wasn’t rendered unconscious, he went on to receive the beating he did. These guys are really hard. Fighters like Blackwell don’t get knocked out. Title fights are over-represented by fighters ending up in hospital. They are guys by definition who hit harder, and they can defend themselves when they are fresh, but what you can’t do is keep your head rock solid or your neck rock solid as you tire so you get much more harmful punches.When you saw the nature of the punches that Eubank was landing, they were causing violent movement of Blackwell’s head and that’s when you get the sheering and tearing of blood vessels and damage. By the time they stopped it in the 10th round, Blackwell could not defend himself and was partially-sighted. I can understand there are all sorts of difficulties for the referee to just step in, and all sorts of scandals occur when fights are stopped early. They stopped the first fight between Carl Froch and George Groves fairly early. If they had stopped this fight earlier, there might have been a hoo-haa, but I think both would have been all right. My view is that going forward the Boxing Board will lower the threshold in its guidelines to referees. I’m absolutely not in the camp that boxing should be banned, but I think we need to make things safer by avoiding risk.”
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) general secretary, Robert Smith, said: “I spoke to one of the doctors this morning and he said there is a bleeding of the brain. He’s in intensive care, he’s in an induced coma and he is resting and being looked after by the experts.”
“The brain hasn’t swollen overnight. Doctors say that’s encouraging. The team are all still at hospital where he’s in induced coma. Slowly taking him off sedatives now.” Blackwell’s family, from Trowbridge, stayed overnight in London, and Mick Hennessy, Blackwell’s promoter, visited the hospital last night – believed it to be St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington – a specialist hospital for acute injuries.
There have been mixed messages as to whether Blackwell has an intracerebral/Intra-axial hemorrhage or Extra-axial form of Intracranial hemorrhage. Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a type of stroke caused by bleeding within the brain tissue itself – a very life-threatening situation. A stroke occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen due to an interruption of its blood supply. ICH is most commonly caused by hypertension, arteriovenous malformations, or head trauma. Treatment focuses on stopping the bleeding, removing the blood clot (hematoma), and relieving the pressure on the brain.
Intracranial bleeding occurs when a blood vessel within the skull is ruptured or leaks. Intracranial hemorrhage is a serious medical emergency because the buildup of blood within the skull can lead to increases in intracranial pressure, which can crush delicate brain tissue or limit its blood supply.
A patient who remains in a coma or has been severely paralyzed after an intracranial or cerebral hemorrhage may need long-term nursing home care. For patients who regain consciousness after the initial episode, rehabilitative therapy may lead to substantial recovery, particularly in patients whose general health is otherwise good. This last factor is of course in Blackwell’s favor as was the almost immediate medical care once he collapsed. Modern British boxers have the martyrs of the past – including one Michael Watson – to thank for the best in class medical care they now enjoy. There will, though, be many lingering questions about the role of the officiating during a bout which many feel should have been stopped earlier.
Chris Eubank Jr said: “I was hitting him with some big shots and the referee saw fit to let the fight go on. Looking back now, maybe he should have stopped it earlier.”
Eubank, who was in the process of celebrating in the ring at the time when Blackwell collapsed, later admitted that he thought the referee should have waved the fight off earlier than he did.
Events Saturday in London will undoubtedly bring back memories for those who were around back then of the ill-fated Chris Eubank Senior vs. Michael Watson bout at White Hart Lane – their second – on 21 September 1991. Watson suffered permanent partial paralysis as a result of injuries from that bout & underwent lengthy rehabilitation as he emerged as an inspirational figure that transcended the sport into mainstream culture.
Michael Watson, “I went down memory lane in many senses. It was strange watching Chris in the corner with his son, and I have seen most of young Chris’ fights. Chris and Nick were involved in a very tough fight, and it was a very sad thing to see Nick hurt at the end and then to hear what has happened to him after the fight. It was a real sense of deja vu as the story unfolded. I obviously wish Nick and his family love and prayers as he is cared for in hospital.”
Veteran referee Mickey Vann, “People are saying that referee Victor Loughlin should have stopped the fight between Nick Blackwell and Chris Eubank Jnr earlier in the bout on Saturday night. I disagree. From a refereeing standpoint, having been in the same position hundreds of times under the guidelines we follow, what Loughlin did was correct. He is a vastly experienced referee and was closely observing a tough fight between two very committed fighters. At no time was there a clear moment for Victor to stop the contest.”
Billy Joe Saunders, “The referee stopped the fight at the right time in my view, because Nick was still fighting back, and was still defending himself throughout the fight.”
Audley Harrison, “The corner should have been thinking about pulling him out because he was behind on the scorecards. Blackwell’s career is over when maybe they could have saved him for another day. He was so resilient and tough. He needed to be saved because the kid wouldn’t have stopped.”
Messages of support from the boxing community
38 mins ago – View on Twitter
All should keep prayers for @nickblackwell02 big heart God bless you brother
Dave Coldwell (@davidcoldwell)
30 mins ago – View on Twitter
Praying that @nickblackwell02 makes a full recovery. 🙏🏽 Absolute warrior. Horrible to see this happen to a fighter.
Christopher Eubank (@ChrisEubank)
9 hours ago – View on Twitter
@nickblackwell02 You fought a great fight tonight. May your hospital stay be short. We are wishing you a complete and restful recovery.
Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew)
2 hours ago – View on Twitter
Woke up this morning an the first person on my mind was @nickblackwell02 I just pray he comes out this in the best way possible. 🙏🏽
Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr)
9 hours ago – View on Twitter
@nickblackwell02 You put up a great fight tonight. Proved yourself a true warrior, wish you a quick recovery & a speedy return 2 the ring 👊🏽
Chris Eubank Jr ✔ @ChrisEubankJr
Unfortunately Nick is now in an induced coma… my thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends.
Chris Eubank Jr ✔ @ChrisEubankJr
He’s a true fighter & I whole heartedly believe he will pull through. Appreciate everyone that came out to support the fight #TeamEubank