Nick Blackwell will put his British middleweight title on the line in a high-profile meeting with mandatory challenger Chris Eubank Jr next month, promoters Hennessy Sports have confirmed. The fight, set to be broadcast live on Channel 5, will take place at Wembley's SSE Arena on 26 March, the same night that IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook is due to face Kevin Bizer in Sheffield.
It will be the third time that Blackwell has defended the previously vacant Lonsdale belt he won with a surprising seventh-round stoppage of John Ryder at the O2 Arena in May 2015. The 25-year-old Trowbridge native later beat Damon Jones thanks to a crushing right hook and also saw off the challenge of late replacement Jack Arnfield via unanimous decision in Bristol last November.
Eubank Jr lost his perfect record with a controversial defeat to current WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders in 2014, but has since won three bouts in a row. He secured a comprehensive victory over previously unbeaten Russian Dmitry Chudinov and made light work of Tony Jeter before displaying his quality by forcing Gary O'Sullivan to retire midway through their title eliminator on the undercard to Anthony Joshua's knockout of heavyweight rival Dillian Whyte in December.
That latter triumph established Eubank Jr, who has since cut ties with Matchroom Sport and Eddie Hearn, as the number one contender for a shot at Daniel Jacobs' WBA crown. There currently appears to be little prospect of that match taking place soon, however.