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Chris Eubank Jr v Nick Blackwell fight should have been stopped - surgeon

The British middleweight title fight between Chris Eubank Jr and Nick Blackwell, which left the latter fighter in an induced coma, should have been stopped earlier, a leading neurosurgeon said.

Staff Reporter
29 March 2016, 6:12pm
Nick Blackwell collapsed after the fight, which left the fighter in an induced coma
Nick Blackwell collapsed after the fight, which left the fighter in an induced coma
Blackwell, 25, collapsed in the ring after the fight was called off on Saturday because of swelling over his left eye in round 10.

He was found to have a bleed on the brain and was placed in an induced coma in hospital in London where he is still heavily sedated.

Surgeon Peter Hamlyn, who operated on Michael Watson when he suffered brain damage in a 1991 fight with Chris Eubank Sr, said medical procedures were followed properly but that the fight should have been stopped.

"It was clearly a one-sided fight by the seventh or eighth round and it should have been stopped. He took too many uppercuts and he suffered a blitz," Hamlyn told the Telegraph newspaper. "It seemed insane for it to go on, because only one man was going to win the fight."

The British Boxing Board of Control was satisfied with how the bout was handled.

"Every boxer who gets into a ring knows the risks," BBBC general secretary Robert Smith told BBC Radio 5 live. "We have everything in place as best we can. But we're never going to make it 100 per cent safe."

The incident drew parallels with the world title fight in 1991 after which Watson was left fighting for his life.

Eubank Sr, 49, was in his son's corner on Saturday and urged him to avoid hitting Blackwell's head at the end of round eight.

"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?" Eubank Sr said.

Eubank also rejected suggestions boxing should be banned to avoid such scenes.

"Boxing should not be banned for one reason -- if it were ever abolished it would go underground and then there would be far, far more incidents of damage to fighters," he said.

"If you ban it, boxing becomes more dangerous and I don't think any person with a reasonable mind can argue with that."

Watson, 51, spent 40 days in a coma and had six operations to remove a blood clot, leaving him with brain damage and partially paralysed.

Writing in the Telegraph, he said Blackwell's injury took him "down memory lane in many senses".

"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," Watson wrote. "It was a real sense of deja vu as the story unfolded."

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