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Published: 13:51 | 29/3/16

Eubank Sr: I was protecting Blackwell

Boxer in induced coma after brutal fight

Chris Eubank Sr has admitted telling his son to punch to the body in order to protect Nick Blackwell.

The former world champion was captured on television at the end of the eighth round telling Chris Jr to aim for the body of his opponent rather than the face as he feared for the worst for Blackwell.

Many observers felt the referee should have stopped the one-sided fight much earlier and having caused serious brain damage to Michael Watson during a brutal encounter in 1991, Eubank Sr was eager to avoid Blackwell suffering a similar fate.

"Even in sparring, I tell Junior to stay away from the head because his punching is fast, powerful and dangerous," he said.

"So most certainly I was saying this to protect the fighter."

Blackwell was eventually taken from the ring on a stretcher and placed in an induced coma in hospital, where he remains.

The British Boxing Board of Control responded to criticism of the referee by claiming they were satisfied with how the fight was handled while Eubank Jr admitted he held back late on.

"If you watch the last round, you can see me easing off," he said.

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