British middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr has admitted his relief after opponent Nick Blackwell finally woke from the coma he was placed in following their fight.
Blackwell’s promoters only revealed on Monday that the 25-year-old had regained consciousness on Saturday, a week after his 10th-round stoppage by Eubank Jr, and spoken to family and friends a day later.
“I’ve just got the news that Nick Blackwell has finally woken out of his coma after about nine days,” said Eubank Jr. “Very, very happy to hear this. It’s a real relief. The last thing we want is for a fighter to go through any serious damage.”
Blackwell was thought to have suffered bleeding on the brain in the fight at Wembley Arena on 26 March but his promoter Hennessy Sports said the bleeding had in fact been on his skull.
“Nick had won his toughest fight yet,” they said. “It was the outcome everyone had been hoping and praying for. Nick Blackwell won the hearts of over 3m viewers with an astonishing display of all-action bravery and determination. In the past week, however, he has humbled millions more. He’s a fighter. He’s a warrior. He’s a true champion and gentleman.”
Former world heavyweight champion David Haye has pledged 10 per cent of ticket revenue for his next fight to Blackwell, while fellow middleweight Adam Etches has raised £11,600 – exceeding his £10,000 target – through a crowdfunding page.
Etches and world welterweight champion Kell Brook have also vowed to raise more money through sponsored events to help Blackwell in his post-fighting career.