Nick Blackwell has confirmed his retirement from professional boxing. The announcement comes just two weeks after he left a seven-day coma induced following defeat to Chris Eubank Jr at Wembley. The 25-year-old suffered a bleed to the skull and was sedated after the fight was stopped in the 10th round. Blackwell had come in for significant punishment from the victorious Eubank.
The Trowbridge-born fighter's injuries meant he was unlikely to ever return to the sport, and now an exchange with followers on Twitter have put his future intentions beyond doubt. The former British middleweight champion awoke from a coma on 2 April, a week after the bout with Eubank, and though he wants to remain in the sport he has ruled out a competitive return to the ring.
Responding to a question via his Twitter account over his future, Blackwell wrote: "That's me done I can't put my friends and family and [my]self through that again but I'll still be involved." The exchange with supporters was the first since the episode on 26 March.
"Just want to say a massive thank you for all the support and messages means the world too me I'm on the mend now so I've been very lucky," he added. "And a massive thank you too everyone who raised money for me it's been overwhelming!" Among those to raise money for Blackwell is David Haye, with the former heavyweight world champion pledging to donate 10% of ticket sales – in the region of £50,000 – to the fighter from the Hennessey Sports stable from his upcoming clash with Arnold Gjergjaj.
Blackwell also used the foray onto Twitter to clear Eubank Jr of any blame for the injuries suffering during the fight, which saw him require oxygen and a stretcher before a week-long battle for his life. Eubank was widely praised for re-directing his attack during the later rounds away from Blackwell's head and swollen eye – after advice from father Chris Eubank Snr – and is keen to meet with his fellow Briton.
Eubank Jr said: "I've tried reaching out since you woke. Haven't heard anything back from you or your team. I hope there's no hard feelings. You never gave up, proved yourself a true warrior. Not sure how long you're in hospital but I'd like to come visit if possible."
"Hello bro no hard feelings," Blackwell replied. "We were both there doing a job and it was unfortunate for what happened but I hope you're ok champ. I haven't watched the fight back yet but will watch it. Be good to see you bro."