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Chris Eubank 'shocked' by Nick Blackwell criticism

Nick Potts/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Chris Eubank Jr. says he was shocked to be criticised for holding a press conference when Nick Blackwell was left fighting for his life.

Blackwell, who has since retired, collapsed and was placed in an induced coma after being stopped while attempting to defend his British middleweight title against Eubank Jr. on March 26.

The 25-year-old from Trowbridge said he had been hurt by the reaction of the Eubanks family in the immediate aftermath, despite turning to Twitter to first claim there were no hard feelings.

And the social media exchange left Eubank surprised by Blackwell's later interview with ITV's Good Morning Britain, on Monday, in which he said: "I was just a little disappointed. If Eubank was in that situation and he was in a coma I would want to go and see him.

"The whole thing with the press conference [which the Eubanks held three days after fight], my family had begged them not to do it and they still went ahead.

"I haven't got anything against him as a fighter, I think he's a really good fighter. But as a person, some of the things he has said and done, personally I wouldn't have done.

"Anyone in boxing knows it was more of a tactical thing. He couldn't stop me to the head so he wanted to hit me to the body to try and get rid of me."

Eubank Jr. appeared on the same television show a day later to respond to Blackwell's comments.

"I can understand where this anger and dislike for me can come from," Eubank Jr. said. "The truth is, I ended the guy's career, I've stopped him from making a living.

"I was shocked when I first heard the things he had been saying because we had a little talk on Twitter and he said everything was okay and there was no hard feelings.

"His career's over now and as a gesture I was going to go to the hospital present him with my [British title] belt.

"He is a true warrior regardless of what's been said. He can now live a normal life."

Eubank Jr. hasn't fought since the fight on March 26 but is scheduled to defend his British title against Tom Doran on June 25 on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Dominic Breazeale.

Press Association Sport contributed to this report.